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Abstract: D.S. Clarke has defended the claim that accepting that p entails believing that p. He refers to this thesis as “the entailment thesis.” In this paper I argue that we ought to reject the entailment thesis. Many philosophers have defended the claim that acceptance and belief are different types of mental states, or, at the very least, that there are ways of accepting propositions that are distinct from doxastic acceptance.1 Many would claim that belief and non-doxastic acceptance differ in some or all of the following six ways. First, belief aims at truth, while acceptance aims at utility or success. Second, belief is shaped by evidence; acceptance need not be shaped by evidence. Third, belief is contextindependent insofar as it is not shaped by an agent’s purposes, but acceptance is often context-dependent and shaped by an agent’s purposes. Fourth, belief is subject to an ideal of agglomeration, and acceptance is not regulated by any such ideal. Fifth, belief comes in degrees while acceptance is all or nothing. Finally, belief is not subject to direct voluntary control, while acceptance can be under our direct voluntary control (some holding that acceptance is also a mental action type). Not all of those who claim that there is a real difference between (non-doxastic) acceptance and belief take it that all of six of these are real distinctions between the two types of attitudes. And some take ‘acceptance’ to be a rather broad type that includes attitudes such as assuming, having faith, hypothesizing, imagining, trusting, and believing as ways of accepting propositions
Abstract: The paper contrasts Robert Brandom’s account of rationality with that of Daniel Dennett. It argues that neither of them is tenable, and sketches an alternative outlook that avoids the problems. In spite of their fundamental differences, both Brandom and Dennett employ a robust, i.e. explanatory and predictive notion of rationality, and for different reasons they both fail to offer a plausible theory supporting it. The lesson offered here is that rationality should not be treated alongside other norms prescribing behaviour, as it cannot be accounted for in the same terms. Instead of ascribing rationality a robust role in a philosophical understanding of behaviour, it should be assigned a more modest one: its function should be located not in the context of explaining and predicting behaviour, but in the context of narratives folk psychological interpretation offers.