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5.1b.4. The Nature of Belief (The Nature of Belief on PhilPapers)

Adler, Jonathan E. (2002). Akratic believing? Philosophical Studies 110 (1).   (Google)
Abstract:   Davidson's account of weakness of will depends upon a parallel that he draws between practical and theoretical reasoning. I argue that the parallel generates a misleading picture of theoretical reasoning. Once the misleading picture is corrected, I conclude that the attempt to model akratic belief on Davidson's account of akratic action cannot work. The arguments that deny the possibility of akratic belief also undermine, more generally, various attempts to assimilate theoretical to practical reasoning.
Adler, Jonathan E. (1999). The ethics of belief: Off the wrong track. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 23 (1):267–285.   (Google | More links)
Audi, Robert (1982). Believing and affirming. Mind 91 (361):115-120.   (Google | More links)
Audi, Robert N. (1994). Dispositional beliefs and dispositions to believe. Noûs 28 (4):419-34.   (Cited by 24 | Google | More links)
Brown, Curtis (1986). What is a belief state? Midwest Studies in Philosophy 10.   (Cited by 4 | Google)
Abstract: What we believe depends on more than the purely intrinsic facts about us: facts about our environment or context also help determine the contents of our beliefs. 1 This observation has led several writers to hope that beliefs can be divided, as it were, into two components: a "core" that depends only on the individual?s intrinsic properties; and a periphery that depends on the individual?s context, including his or her history, environment, and linguistic community. Thus Jaegwon Kim suggests that "within each noninternal psychological state that enters into the explanation of some action or behavior we can locate an ?internal core state? which can assume the causal-explanatory role of the noninternal state."2 In the same vein, Stephen Stich writes that "nonautonomous" states, like belief, are best viewed as "conceptually complex hybrids" made up of an autonomous component together with historical and contextual features.3 John Perry, whose term I have adopted, distinguishes between belief states, which are determined by an individual?s intrinsic properties, and objects of belief, which are not.4 And Daniel Dennett makes use of the same notion when he asks:5
Buckareff, Andrei A. (2004). Acceptance and deciding to believe. Journal of Philosophical Research 29 (February):173-190.   (Cited by 3 | Google)
Buckareff, Andrei A. (2006). Compatibilism and doxastic control. Philosophia 34 (2).   (Google)
Abstract:   Sharon Ryan has recently argued that if one has compatibilist intuitions about free action, then one should reject the claim that agents cannot exercise direct voluntary control over coming to believe. In this paper I argue that the differences between beliefs and actions make the expectation of direct voluntary control over coming to believe unreasonable. So Ryan's theory of doxastic agency is untenable
Buckareff, Andrei A. (2005). Can faith be a doxastic venture? Religious Studies 41 (4):435-445.   (Google)
Abstract: In a recent article in this journal, John Bishop argues in defence of conceiving of Christian faith as a ‘doxastic venture’. That is, he defends the claim that, in exercising faith, agents believe beyond ‘what can be established rationally on the basis of evidence and argument’. Careful examination reveals that Bishop fails adequately to show that faith in the face of inadequate epistemic reasons for believing is, or can even be, a uniquely doxastic venture. I argue that faith is best conceived of as a sub-doxastic venture that involves pragmatically assuming that God exists
Buckareff, Andrei A. (2006). Doxastic decisions and controlling belief. Acta Analytica 21 (1).   (Google | More links)
Buleandra, Andrei (2009). Doxastic transparency and prescriptivity. Dialectica 63 (3):325-332.   (Google)
Abstract: Nishi Shah has argued that the norm of truth is a prescriptive norm which regulates doxastic deliberation. Also, the acceptance of the norm of truth explains why belief is subject to norms of evidence. Steglich-Petersen pointed out that the norm of truth cannot be prescriptive because it cannot be broken deliberatively. More recently, Pascal Engel suggested that both the norms of truth and evidence are deliberately violated in cases of epistemic akrasia. The akratic agent accepts these norms but in some cases he is not motivated by them. In this paper I will argue that Shah cannot use Engel's suggestion because, given his definition of doxastic deliberation, epistemic akrasia is impossible in the context of deliberation about belief. Furthermore, epistemic akrasia is in conflict with the phenomenon of doxastic transparency that Shah tries to explain
Chan, Timothy (2008). Belief, assertion and Moore's paradox. Philosophical Studies 139 (3).   (Google)
Abstract: In this article I argue that two received accounts of belief and assertion cannot both be correct, because they entail mutually contradictory claims about Moore’s Paradox. The two accounts in question are, first, the Action Theory of Belief (ATB), the functionalist view that belief must be manifested in dispositions to act, and second, the Belief Account of Assertion (BAA), the Gricean view that an asserter must present himself as believing what he asserts. It is generally accepted also that Moorean assertions are absurd, and that BAA explains why they are. I shall argue that ATB implies that some Moorean assertions are, in some fairly ordinary contexts, well justified. Thus BAA and ATB are mutually inconsistent. In the concluding section I explore three possible ways of responding to the dilemma, and what implications they have for the nature of the constitutive relationships linking belief, assent and behavioural dispositions
Chan, Timothy (2010). Moore's paradox is not just another pragmatic paradox. Synthese 173 (3).   (Google)
Abstract: One version of Moore’s Paradox is the challenge to account for the absurdity of beliefs purportedly expressed by someone who asserts sentences of the form ‘p & I do not believe that p’ (‘Moorean sentences’). The absurdity of these beliefs is philosophically puzzling, given that Moorean sentences (i) are contingent and often true; and (ii) express contents that are unproblematic when presented in the third-person. In this paper I critically examine the most popular proposed solution to these two puzzles, according to which Moorean beliefs are absurd because Moorean sentences are instances of pragmatic paradox; that is to say, the propositions they express are necessarily false-when-believed. My conclusion is that while a Moorean belief is a pragmatic paradox, it is not just another pragmatic paradox, because this diagnosis does not explain all the puzzling features of Moorean beliefs. In particularly, while this analysis is plausible in relation to the puzzle posed by characteristic (i) of Moorean sentences, I argue that it fails to account for (ii). I do so in the course of an attempt to formulate the definition of a pragmatic paradox in more precise formal terms, in order to see whether the definition is satisfied by Moorean sentences, but not by their third-person transpositions. For only an account which can do so could address (ii) adequately. After rejecting a number of attempted formalizations, I arrive at a definition which delivers the right results. The problem with this definition, however, is that it has to be couched in first-person terms, making an essential use of ‘I’. Thus the problem of accounting for first-/third-person asymmetry recurs at a higher order, which shows that the Pragmatic Paradox Resolution fails to identify the source of such asymmetry highlighted by Moore’s Paradox
Chien, A. J. (1985). Demonstratives and belief states. Philosophical Studies 47 (2).   (Google)
Cohen, L. Jonathan (1992). An Essay on Belief and Acceptance. New York: Clarendon Press.   (Cited by 104 | Google | More links)
Abstract: In this incisive new book one of Britain's most eminent philosophers explores the often overlooked tension between voluntariness and involuntariness in human cognition. He seeks to counter the widespread tendency for analytic epistemology to be dominated by the concept of belief. Is scientific knowledge properly conceived as being embodied, at its best, in a passive feeling of belief or in an active policy of acceptance? Should a jury's verdict declare what its members involuntarily believe or what they voluntarily accept? And should statements and assertions be presumed to express what their authors believe or what they accept? Does such a distinction between belief and acceptance help to resolve the paradoxes of self-deception and akrasia? Must people be taken to believe everything entailed by what they believe, or merely to accept everything entailed by what they accept? Through a systematic examination of these problems, the author sheds new light on issues of crucial importance in contemporary epistemology, philosophy of mind, and cognitive science
Crimmins, Mark (1992). Tacitness and virtual beliefs. Mind and Language 7 (3):240-63.   (Cited by 14 | Google | More links)
Cummins, Robert E. (1991). Methodological reflections on belief. In R. Bogdan (ed.), Mind and Common Sense. Cambridge University Press.   (Cited by 6 | Annotation | Google)
Cusmariu, Arnold (1982). Translation and Belief. Analysis 42 (1):12-16.   (Google)
Abstract: I present a formally explicit statement of Church's celebrated argument against Carnap's analysis of belief and defend it against well-known objections by W.V.O. Quine, R.M. Martin, and Michael Dummett.
Cusmariu, Arnold (1983). Translation and Belief Again. Analysis 43 (1):23-25.   (Google)
Abstract: In "Translation and Belief" I presented a two-stage version of Church's translation argument against Carnap's analysis of belief. Here I show that the first stage is sufficient to establish a weaker, though no less significant conclusion, if supplemented with the principle that the same thought or idea can be expressed in different languages.
Falvey, Kevin (1999). A natural history of belief. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 80 (4):324-345.   (Google | More links)
Falk, Arthur E. (2004). Desire and Belief: Introduction to Some Recent Philosophical Debates. Hamilton Books, University Press of America.   (Annotation | Google | More links)
Abstract: This work examines the nature of what philosophers call de re mental attitudes, paying close attention to the controversies over the nature of these and allied...
Frankish, Keith (2004). Mind and Supermind. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.   (Cited by 19 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Mind and Supermind offers a new perspective on the nature of belief and the structure of the human mind. Keith Frankish argues that the folk-psychological term 'belief' refers to two distinct types of mental state, which have different properties and support different kinds of mental explanation. Building on this claim, he develops a picture of the human mind as a two-level structure, consisting of a basic mind and a supermind, and shows how the resulting account sheds light on a number of puzzling phenomena and helps to vindicate folk psychology. Topics discussed include the function of conscious thought, the cognitive role of natural language, the relation between partial and flat-out belief, the possibility of active belief formation, and the nature of akrasia, self-deception, and first-person authority. This book will be valuable for philosophers, psychologists, and cognitive scientists
Frankish, Keith (1998). Natural language and virtual belief. In Peter Carruthers & Jill Boucher (eds.), Language and Thought: Interdisciplinary Themes. Cambridge University Press.   (Cited by 8 | Google | More links)
Abstract: This chapter outlines a new argument for the view that language has a cognitive role. I suggest that humans exhibit two distinct kinds of belief state, one passively formed, the other actively formed. I argue that actively formed beliefs (_virtual beliefs_, as I call them) can be identified with _premising policies_, and that forming them typically involves certain linguistic operations. I conclude that natural language has at least a limited cognitive role in the formation and manipulation of virtual beliefs
Gauker, Christopher (2003). Attitudes without psychology. Facta Philosophica 5 (2):239-56.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Gauker, Christopher (2005). The belief-desire law. Facta Philosophica 7.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Many philosophers hold that for various reasons there must be psychological laws governing beliefs and desires. One of the few serious examples that they offer is the _belief-desire law_, which states, roughly, that _ceteris paribus_ people do what they believe will satisfy their desires. This paper argues that, in fact, there is no such law. In particular, decision theory does not support the contention that there is such a law
Gendler, Tamar Szabó (2008). Alief and belief. Journal of Philosophy 105 (10):634-663.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Forthcoming, Journal of Philosophy [pdf manuscript]
Gendler, Tamar (2009). Alief in action (and reaction). Mind & Language 23 (5):552-585.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: I introduce and argue for the importance of a cognitive state that I call alief. An alief is, to a reasonable approximation, an innate or habitual propensity to respond to an apparent stimulus in a particular way. Recognizing the role that alief plays in our cognitive repertoire provides a framework for understanding reactions that are governed by nonconscious or automatic mechanisms, which in turn brings into proper relief the role played by reactions that are subject to conscious regulation and deliberate control
Gendler, Tamar Szabó (2003). On the relation between pretense and belief. In Imagination Philosophy and the Arts. Routledge.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: By the age of two, children are able to engage in highly elaborate games of symbolic pretense, in which objects and actions in the actual world are taken to stand for objects and actions in a realm of make-believe. These games of pretense are marked by the presence of two central features, which I will call quarantining and mirroring (see also Leslie 1987; Perner 1991). Quarantining is manifest to the extent that events within the pretense-episode are taken to have effects only within that pretense-episode (e.g. the child does not expect that ‘spilling’ ( pretend) ‘tea’1 will result in the table really being wet), or more generally, to the extent that proto-beliefs and proto-attitudes concerning the pretended state of affairs are not treated as beliefs and attitudes relevant to guiding action in the actual world. Mirroring is manifest to the extent that features of the imaginary situation that have not been explicitly stipulated are derivable via features of their real-world analogues (e.g. the child does expect that if she up-ends the teapot above the table, then the table will become wet in the pretense), or, more generally to the extent that imaginative content is taken to be governed by the same sorts of restrictions that govern believed content
Gibbard, Allan (2005). Truth and correct belief. Philosophical Issues 15 (1):338–350.   (Google | More links)
Goldberg, Sanford C. (2002). Belief and its linguistic expression: Toward a belief box account of first-person authority. Philosophical Psychology 1 (1):65-76.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: In this paper I characterize the problem of first-person authority as it confronts the proponent of the belief box conception of belief, and I develop the groundwork for a belief box account of that authority. If acceptable, the belief box account calls into question (by undermining a popular motivation for) the thesis that first-person authority is not to be traced to a truth-tracking relation between first-person opinions themselves and the beliefs which they are about
Gozzano, Simone (1994). Rationality, folk psychology, and the belief-opinion distinction. Acta Analytica 12 (12):113-123.   (Google)
Abstract: The aim of this paper is to clarify the role of the distinction between belief and opinion in the light of Dennett's intentional stance. In particular, I consider whether the distinction could be used for a defence of the stance from various criticisms. I will then apply the distinction to the so-called `paradoxes of irrationality'. In this context I will propose that we should avoid the postulation of `boundaries' or `gaps' within the mind, and will attempt to show that a useful treatment of the paradoxes can be obtained by revising the rationality assumption
Hawthorne, James (2009). The Lockean Thesis and the Logic of Belief. In Franz Huber & Christoph Schmidt-Petri (eds.), Degrees of Belief. Synthese Library: Springer.   (Google)
Abstract: In a penetrating investigation of the relationship between belief and quantitative degrees of confidence (or degrees of belief) Richard Foley (1992) suggests the following thesis: ... it is epistemically rational for us to believe a proposition just in case it is epistemically rational for us to have a sufficiently high degree of confidence in it, sufficiently high to make our attitude towards it one of belief. Foley goes on to suggest that rational belief may be just rational degree of confidence above some threshold level that the agent deems sufficient for belief. He finds hints of this view in Locke’s discussion of probability and degrees of assent, so he calls it the Lockean Thesis.1 The Lockean Thesis has important implications for the logic of belief. Most prominently, it implies that even a logically ideal agent whose degrees of confidence satisfy the axioms of probability theory may quite rationally believe each of a large body of propositions that are jointly inconsistent. For example, an agent may legitimately believe that on each given occasion her well-maintained car will start, but nevertheless believe that she will eventually encounter a..
Hendricks, Scott (2006). The frame problem and theories of belief. Philosophical Studies 129 (2):317-33.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: The frame problem is the problem of how we selectively apply relevant knowledge to particular situations in order to generate practical solutions. Some philosophers have thought that the frame problem can be used to rule out, or argue in favor of, a particular theory of belief states. But this is a mistake. Sentential theories of belief are no better or worse off with respect to the frame problem than are alternative theories of belief, most notably, the “map” theory of belief
Holton, Richard (2008). Partial belief, partial intention. Mind 117 (465):27-58.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Is a belief that one will succeed necessary for an intention? It is argued that the question has traditionally been badly posed, framed as it is in terms of all-out belief. We need instead to ask about the relation between intention and partial belief. An account of partial belief that is more psychologically realistic than the standard credence account is developed. A notion of partial intention is then developed, standing to all-out intention much as partial belief stands to all-out belief. Various coherence constraints on the notion are explored. It is concluded that the primary relations between intention and belief should be understood as normative and not essential. CiteULike    Connotea    What's this?
Hookway, Christopher (1981). Conscious belief and deliberation. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 75:75-89.   (Google)
Horst, Steven (1995). Eliminativism and the ambiguity of `belief'. Synthese 104 (1):123-45.   (Cited by 5 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Jackson, Frank & Pettit, Philip (1993). Folk belief and commonplace belief. Mind and Language 8 (2):298-305.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Jackson, Frank (2007). Is belief an internal state? Philosophical Studies 132 (3):571-580.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: This paper is a discussion of Michael Thau
Kraemer, Eric Russert (1985). Beliefs, dispositions and demonstratives. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 63 (June):167-176.   (Google | More links)
Lewis, David (1979). Attitudes de dicto and de se. Philosophical Review 88 (4):513-543.   (Google | More links)
Moore, Joseph G. (1999). Misdisquotation and substitutivity: When not to infer belief from assent. Mind 108 (430):335-365.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: In 'A Puzzle about Belief' Saul Kripke appeals to a principle of disquotation that allows us to infer a person's beliefs from the sentences to which she assents (in certain conditions). Kripke relies on this principle in constructing some famous puzzle cases, which he uses to defend the Millian view that the sole semantic function of a proper name is to refer to its bearer. The examples are meant to undermine the anti-Millian objection, grounded in traditional Frege-cases, that truth-value is not always maintained when co-referential names are intersubstituted in belief reports. I argue here that our disquotational practice is sensitive to certain shifts in conversational context, and it is only if we overlook these shifts - if we 'misdisquote' - that we can draw the conclusions Kripke wants to draw from his examples. In the wake of this conclusion, I provide a 'contextualist' treatment of Kripke's puzzle cases. I show how this treatment is motivated by certain norms of rationality, and I defend these norms against an intriguing 'anti-Cartesian' theory of mind. Throughout the paper, I develop the larger implications that my treatment of Kripke's argument has for the semantic theory of names and belief reports, and, more generally, for our picture of the relation between linguistic behaviour and our states of mind
Owens, David J. (2003). Does belief have an aim? Philosophical Studies 115 (3):283-305.   (Cited by 14 | Google | More links)
Abstract: The hypothesis that belief aims at the truth has been used to explain three features of belief: (1) the fact that correct beliefs are true beliefs, (2) the fact that rational beliefs are supported by the evidence and (3) the fact that we cannot form beliefs
Peacocke, Christopher (1998). Conscious attitudes, attention, and self-knowledge. In C. Wright, B. Smith & C. Macdonald (eds.), Knowing Our Own Minds. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 18 | Google | More links)
Perry, John (1979). The problem of the essential indexical. Noûs 13 (December):3-21.   (Cited by 4 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Perry, John (1993). The Problem of the Essential Indexical: And Other Essays. Oxford University Press.   (Google)
Abstract: A collection of twelve essays by John Perry and two essays he co-authored, this book deals with various problems related to "self-locating beliefs": the sorts of beliefs one expresses with indexicals and demonstratives, like "I" and "this." Postscripts have been added to a number of the essays discussing criticisms by authors such as Gareth Evans and Robert Stalnaker. Included with such well-known essays as "Frege on Demonstratives," "The Problem of the Essential Indexical," "From Worlds to Situations," and "The Prince and the Phone Booth" are a number of important essays that have been less accessible and that discuss important aspects of Perry's views, referred to as "Critical Referentialism," on the philosophy of language and the philosophy of mind
Pugmire, David (1972). A doubt about the normative theory of belief. Mind 81 (324):584-586.   (Google | More links)
Railton, Peter (1994). Truth, reason, and the regulation of belief. Philosophical Issues 5:71-93.   (Google | More links)
Rowbottom, Darrell P. (2007). 'In Between Believing' and Degrees of Belief. Teorema 26 (1):131-137.   (Google)
Abstract: Schwitzgebel (2001) — henceforth 'S' — offers three examples in order to convince us that there are situations in which individuals are neither accurately describable as believing that p or failing to so believe, but are rather in 'in-between states of belief'. He then argues that there are no 'Bayesian' or representational strategies for explicating these, and proposes a dispositional account. I do not have any fundamental objection to the idea that there might be 'in-between states of belief'. What I shall argue, rather, is that: (I) S does not provide a convincing argument that there really are such states; (II) S does not show, as he claims, that 'in-between states of belief' could not be accounted for in terms of degrees of belief; (III) S’s dispositional account of 'in-between states of belief' is more problematic than the 'degree of belief' alternative.
Baker, Lynne Rudder (1991). Dretske on the explanatory role of belief. Philosophical Studies 63 (July):99-111.   (Cited by 7 | Google | More links)
Sandis, Constantine (2008). Jessica brown, anti-individualism and knowledge. Minds and Machines 18 (1).   (Google)
Schwitzgebel, Eric (2002). A phenomenal, dispositional account of belief. Noûs 36 (2):249-75.   (Cited by 12 | Google | More links)
Abstract: This paper describes and defends in detail a novel account of belief, an account inspired by Ryle's dispositional characterization of belief, but emphasizing irreducibly phenomenal and cognitive dispositions as well as behavioral dispositions. Potential externalist and functionalist objections are considered, as well as concerns motivated by the inevitably ceteris paribus nature of the relevant dispositional attributions. It is argued that a dispositional account of belief is particularly well-suited to handle what might be called "in-between" cases of believing - cases in which it is neither quite right to describe a person as having a particular belief nor quite right to describe her as lacking it
Shah, Nishi & David Velleman, J. (2005). Doxastic deliberation. Philosophical Review 114 (4):497-534.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Believing that p, assuming that p, and imagining that p involve regarding p as true—or, as we shall call it, accepting p. What distinguishes belief from the other modes of acceptance? We claim that conceiving of an attitude as a belief, rather than an assumption or an instance of imagining, entails conceiving of it as an acceptance that is regulated for truth, while also applying to it the standard of being correct if and only if it is true. We argue that the second half of this claim, according to which the concept of belief includes a standard of correctness, is required to explain the fact that the deliberative question whether to believe that p is transparent to the question whether p. This argument raises various questions. Is there such a thing as deliberating whether to believe? Is the transparency of the deliberative question whether to believe that p the same as the transparency of the factual question whether I do believe that p? We will begin by answering these questions and then turn to a series of possible objections to our argument
Shah, Nishi (2003). How truth governs belief. Philosophical Review 112 (4):447-482.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Why, when asking oneself whether to believe that p, must one immediately recognize that this question is settled by, and only by, answering the question whether p is true? Truth is not an optional end for first-personal doxastic deliberation, providing an instrumental or extrinsic reason that an agent may take or leave at will. Otherwise there would be an inferential step between discovering the truth with respect to p and determining whether to believe that p, involving a bridge premise that it is good (in whichever sense of good one likes, moral, prudential, aesthetic, allthings-considered, etc.) to believe the truth with respect to p. But there is no such gap between the two questions within the first-personal deliberative perspective; the question whether to believe that p seems to collapse into the question whether p is true
Steglich-Petersen, Asbjørn (2006). No Norm needed: On the aim of belief. Philosophical Quarterly 56 (225):499–516.   (Google)
Abstract: Does transparency in doxastic deliberation entail a constitutive norm of correctness governing belief, as Shah and Velleman argue? No, because this presupposes an implausibly strong relation between normative judgements and motivation from such judgements, ignores our interest in truth, and cannot explain why we pay different attention to how much justification we have for our beliefs in different contexts. An alternative account of transparency is available: transparency can be explained by the aim one necessarily adopts in deliberating about whether to believe that p. To show this, I reconsider the role of the concept of belief in doxastic deliberation, and I defuse 'the teleologian's dilemma'.
Steglich-Petersen, Asbjørn (forthcoming). The truth norm and guidance: a reply to Glüer and Wikforss. Mind.   (Google)
Abstract: Kathrin Glüer and Åsa Wikforss (2009) argue that any truth norm for belief, linking the correctness of believing p with the truth of p, is bound to be uninformative since applying the norm to determine the correctness of a belief as to whether p, would itself require forming such a belief. I argue that this objection conflates the condition under which the norm deems beliefs correct, with the psychological state an agent must be in to apply the norm. I also show that since the truth norm conflicts with other possible norms that clearly are informative, the truth norm must itself be informative.
Tiffany, E. C. (2001). The rational character of belief and the argument for mental anomalism. Philosophical Studies 103 (3):258-314.   (Google | More links)
Abstract:   If mental anomalism is to be interpreted as a thesisunique to psychology, the anomalousness must begrounded in some feature unique to the mental,presumably its rational nature. While the ground forsuch arguments from normativity has been notoriouslyslippery terrain, there are two recently influentialstrategies which make the argument precise. The firstis to deny the possibility of psychophysical bridgelaws because of the different constitutive essences ofmental and physical laws, and the second is to arguethat mental anomalism follows from the uncodifiabilityof rationality. In this paper I argue that bothstrategies fail – the latter because it conflates primafacie and all things considered rationality and theformer because it rests on a false premise, theprinciple of the rational character of belief. Idistinguish four different formulations of thisprinciple and argue that those formulations which areplausible cannot support the argument for mentalanomalism
Tomkow, Terrance (ms). Now, Me.   (Google | More links)
Vahid, Hamid (2006). Aiming at truth: Doxastic vs. epistemic goals. Philosophical Studies 131 (2):303-335.   (Google | More links)
Abstract:   Belief is generally thought to be the primary cognitive state representing the world as being a certain way, regulating our behavior and guiding us around the world. It is thus regarded as being constitutively linked with the truth of its content. This feature of belief has been famously captured in the thesis that believing is a purposive state aiming at truth. It has however proved to be notoriously difficult to explain what the thesis really involves. In this paper, I begin by critically examining a number of recent attempts to unpack the metaphor. I shall then proceed to highlight an error that seems to cripple most of these attempts. This involves the confusion between, what I call, doxastic and epistemic goals. Finally, having offered my own positive account of the aim-of-belief thesis, I shall underline its deflationary nature by distinguishing between aiming at truth and hitting that target (truth). I end by comparing the account with certain prominent inflationary theories of the nature of belief
Vahid, Hamid (forthcoming). Rationalizing beliefs: Evidential vs. pragmatic reasons. Synthese.   (Google)
Abstract: Beliefs can be evaluated from a number of perspectives. Epistemic evaluation involves epistemic standards and appropriate epistemic goals. On a truth-conducive account of epistemic justification, a justified belief is one that serves the goal of believing truths and avoiding falsehoods. Beliefs are also prompted by non-epistemic reasons. This raises the question of whether, say, the pragmatic benefits of a belief are able to rationalize it. In this paper, after criticizing certain responses to this question, I shall argue that, as far as beliefs are concerned, justification has an essentially epistemic character. This conclusion is then qualified by considering the conditions under which pragmatic consequences of a belief can be epistemically relevant
Wedgwood, Ralph (2002). The aim of belief. Philosophical Perspectives 16:267-97.   (Cited by 23 | Google | More links)
Abstract: It is often said, metaphorically, that belief "aims" at the truth. This paper proposes a normative interpretation of this metaphor. First, the notion of "epistemic norms" is clarified, and reasons are given for the view that epistemic norms articulate essential features of the beliefs that are subject to them. Then it is argued that all epistemic norms--including those that specify when beliefs count as rational, and when they count as knowledge--are explained by a fundamental norm of correct belief, which requires that, if one considers a proposition at all, one should believe it if and only if it is true
Whiting, Daniel (2010). Should I believe the truth? Dialectica 64 (2):213-224.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Many philosophers hold that a general norm of truth governs the attitude of believing. In a recent and influential discussion, Krister Bykvist and Anandi Hattiangadi raise a number of serious objections to this view. In this paper, I concede that Bykvist and Hattiangadi's criticisms might be effective against the formulation of the norm of truth that they consider, but suggest that an alternative is available. After outlining that alternative, I argue that it is not vulnerable to objections parallel to those Bykvist and Hattiangadi advance, although it might initially appear to be. In closing, I consider what bearing the preceding discussion has on important questions concerning the natures of believing and of truth
Wilkes, Kathleen V. (1981). Conscious belief and deliberation. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 91:91-107.   (Google)
Zimmerman, Aaron Z. (2007). The nature of belief. Journal of Consciousness Studies 14 (11):61-82.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Neo-Cartesian approaches to belief place greater evidential weight on a subject's introspective judgments than do neo-behaviorist accounts. As a result, the two views differ on whether our absent-minded and weak-willed actions are guided by belief. I argue that simulationist accounts of the concept of belief are committed to neo-Cartesianism, and, though the conceptual and empirical issues that arise are inextricably intertwined, I discuss experimental results that should point theory-theorists in that direction as well. Belief is even less closely connected to behaviour than most contemporary functionalists allow