Cécile Fabre – Doxastic wrongs, non-spurious generalisations and particularised beliefs

Event Date: 15 November 2021
Virtual [ZOOM] University of London
Malet St
London WC1E 7HU

The Aristotelian Society presents:

Professor Cécile Fabre (Oxford) – Doxastic wrongs, non-spurious generalisations and particularised beliefs

According to the doxastic wrongs thesis, merely entertaining certain beliefs about others can wrong them, even if one does not act on those beliefs. Beliefs based on socially salient characteristics such as race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, etc., and which turn out to be false and are negatively valenced are prime candidates for the charge of doxastic wronging. My aim, in this paper, is to show that a plausible, Kantian argument for the thesis licences extending the latter to cases in which the belief is true and/or positively valenced. I begin by setting out the doxastic wrong thesis in its general form. I then reject Mark Schroeder’s argument for restricting it to false beliefs, and mount a positive, Kantian argument for including true beliefs within the ambit of the thesis. I end the paper by tackling some objections, in the course of which I extend the thesis to further cases.

Cécile Fabre is Senior Research Fellow in Politics at All Souls College, Oxford, and Professor of Political Philosophy at the University of Oxford. She previous taught at the London School of Economics and the University of Edinburgh. She holds degrees from La Sorbonne University, the University of York, and the University of Oxford. Her research interests include theories of distributive justice, issues relating to the rights we have over our own body and, more recently, just war theory,and the ethics of foreign policy.

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