Belief

Edited by Rima Basu (Claremont McKenna College)
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  1. Questions in Action.Daniel Hoek - 2022 - Journal of Philosophy 119 (3):113-143.
    Choices confront us with questions. How we act depends on our answers to those questions. So the way our beliefs guide our choices is not just a function of their informational content, but also depends systematically on the questions those beliefs address. This paper gives a precise account of the interplay between choices, questions and beliefs, and harnesses this account to obtain a principled approach to the problem of deduction. The result is a novel theory of belief-guided action that explains (...)
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  2. The Omnidoxy. Cometan - 2019 - Preston, UK: Astronist Institution.
    The Omnidoxy, solely authored by the philosopher Cometan, is the primary founding treatise of Astronism. Partitioned into twelve disquisitions, each of which are further divided into hundreds of discourses, which are themselves titled by those which are known as rubrals, The Omnidoxy has been codified according to a unique writing structure known as insentence. The Omnidoxy not only forms the foundations of Astronism, but it remains the primary contributor to the wider Astronic philosophical tradition which encompasses the philosophy of Astronism.
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  3. Risky Belief.Martin Smith - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    In this paper I defend the claim that justification is closed under conjunction, and confront its most alarming consequence – that one can have justification for believing propositions that are unlikely to be true, given one’s evidence.
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  4. Disagreement and Suspended Judgement.Filippo Ferrari - forthcoming - Metaphilosophy.
    Can someone who suspends judgement about a certain proposition <p> be in a relational state of disagreement with someone who believes <p> as well as with some- one who disbelieves <p>? This paper argues for an af- firmative answer. It develops an account of the notions of suspended judgement and disagreement that explains how and why the suspender is in a relational state of disagreement with both the believer and the disbeliever about the very same proposition <p>. More specifically, the (...)
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  5. The Varieties of Agnosticism.Filippo Ferrari & Luca Incurvati - 2022 - Philosophical Quarterly 72 (2):365-380.
    We provide a framework for understanding agnosticism. The framework accounts for the varieties of agnosticism while vindicating the unity of the phenomenon. This combination of unity and plurality is achieved by taking the varieties of agnosticism to be represented by several agnostic stances, all of which share a common core provided by what we call the minimal agnostic attitude. We illustrate the fruitfulness of the framework by showing how it can be applied to several philosophical debates. In particular, several philosophical (...)
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  6. Thinking and Being Sure.Jeremy Goodman & Ben Holguín - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research:1-27.
    How is what we believe related to how we act? That depends on what we mean by "believe". On the one hand, there is what we're sure of: what our names are, where we were born, whether we're currently in front of a screen. Surety, in this sense, is not uncommon -- it does not imply Cartesian absolute certainty, from which no possible course of experience could dislodge us. But there are many things that we think that we are not (...)
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  7. Abstract Rationality: The 'Logical' Structure of Attitudes.Franz Dietrich, Antonios Staras & Robert Sugden - manuscript
    We present an abstract model of rationality theories that focuses on structural properties of attitudes. We construe rationality as coherence between one's attitudes, e.g., one's beliefs, values, and intentions. We introduce three 'logical' conditions on attitudes: consistency, completeness, and closedness. They generalise the classic logical conditions on beliefs towards multiple attitudes, but contrast with standard rationality conditions such as transitivity for preferences, modus ponens for binary beliefs, additivity for probabilistic beliefs, and non-akrasia for intentions. We establish a formal correspondence between (...)
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  8. A limitation on agency in judgment.Matthew McGrath - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-21.
    To many, judgment has seemed a locus of cognitive agency, a kind of cognitive mental act. In one minimal sense, judgment is something one does. I consider whether judgment is more robustly agential: is it a kind of action done with an aim? The most attractive version of this sort of position takes judging that p to affirming that p with an alethic aim, an aim such as affirming truly. I argue that such views have unacceptable consequences. Acts done with (...)
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  9. Empathetic Attitude Reports.Friederike Moltmann - forthcoming - In D. Gutzman & S. Repp (eds.), Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 26, 2021.
    I call 'empathetic attitude reports' attitude reports such as 'I believe you that you will come back' and 'I understand you that you are not in the mood'. I will argue that such attitude reports cannot be analysed in terms of two-place attitudinal relations but involve an essential interpersonal relation of trust or understanding.
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  10. Are Propositional Attitudes Mental States?Umut Baysan - forthcoming - Minds and Machines:1-16.
    I present an argument that propositional attitudes are not mental states. In a nutshell, the argument is that if propositional attitudes are mental states, then only minded beings could have them; but there are reasons to think that some non-minded beings could bear propositional attitudes. To illustrate this, I appeal to cases of genuine group intentionality. I argue that these are cases in which some group entities bear propositional attitudes, but they are not subjects of mental states. Although propositional attitudes (...)
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  11. Epistemic Styles.Carolina Flores - forthcoming - Philosophical Topics.
    Epistemic agents interact with evidence in different ways. This can cause trouble for mutual understanding and for our ability to rationally engage with others. Indeed, it can compromise democratic practices of deliberation. This paper explains these differences by appealing to a new notion: epistemic styles. Epistemic styles are ways of interacting with evidence that express unified sets of epistemic values, preferences, goals, and interests. The paper introduces the notion of epistemic styles and develops a systematic account of their nature. It (...)
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  12. How Low Can You Go? A Defense of Believing Philosophical Theories.Elizabeth Jackson - manuscript
    What attitude should philosophers take toward their favorite philosophical theories? I argue that the answer is belief and middling to low credence. I begin by discussing why disagreement has motivated the view that we cannot rationally believe our philosophical theories. Then, I show why considerations from disagreement actually better support my view. I provide two additional arguments for my view: the first concerns roles for belief and credence and the second explains why believing one’s philosophical theories is superior to accepting (...)
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  13. (What) Are Stereotyping and Discrimination? (What) Do We Want Them to Be?Alex Madva - 2021 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 10 (11):43-51.
    Comment on Beeghly, Erin. 2021. “Stereotyping as Discrimination: Why Thoughts Can Be Discriminatory.” Social Epistemology 35 (6): 547–63. -/- Beeghly’s “Stereotyping as Discrimination” is—characteristically—clear, thorough, and persuasive, rich with incisive arguments and thought-provoking case studies. In defending the view that stereotyping often constitutes discrimination, she makes a powerful case that, “Living ethically means cultivating a certain kind of ‘inner’ life and avoiding pernicious habits of thought, no matter how culturally pervasive” (Beeghly 2021b, 13). Support for such claims is traced back (...)
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  14. Categorical Versus Graded Beliefs.Franz Dietrich - 2022 - Frontiers in Psychology 18.
    This essay discusses the difficulty to reconcile two paradigms about beliefs: the binary or categorical paradigm of yes/no beliefs and the probabilistic paradigm of degrees of belief. The possibility for someone to hold both types of belief simultaneously is challenged by the lottery paradox, and more recently by a general impossibility theorem by Dietrich and List (2018, 2021). The nature, relevance, and implications of the tension are explained and assessed.
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  15. Reflections on Mirror Man.Frank Jackson & Daniel Stoljar - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (12):4227-4237.
    Juhani Yli-Vakkuri and John Hawthorne have recently presented a thought experiment—Mirror Man—designed to refute internalist theories of belief and content. We distinguish five ways in which the case can be interpreted and argue that on none does it refute internalism.
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  16. Probing the Mind of God: Divine Beliefs and Credences.Elizabeth Jackson & Justin Mooney - forthcoming - Religious Studies:1-15.
    Although much has been written about divine knowledge, and some on divine beliefs, virtually nothing has been written about divine credences. In this essay we comparatively assess four views on divine credences: (1) God has only beliefs, not credences; (2) God has both beliefs and credences; (3) God has only credences, not beliefs; and (4) God has neither credences nor beliefs, only knowledge. We weigh the costs and benefits of these four views and draw connections to current discussions in philosophical (...)
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  17. Thinking, Guessing, and Believing.Ben Holguín - forthcoming - Philosophers' Imprint:1-34.
    This paper defends the view, put roughly, that to think that p is to guess that p is the answer to the question at hand, and that to think that p rationally is for one’s guess to that question to be in a certain sense non-arbitrary. Some theses that will be argued for along the way include: that thinking is question-sensitive and, correspondingly, that ‘thinks’ is context-sensitive; that it can be rational to think that p while having arbitrarily low credence (...)
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  18. A Permissivist Defense of Pascal’s Wager.Elizabeth Jackson - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-26.
    Epistemic permissivism is the thesis that the evidence can rationally permit more than one attitude toward a proposition. Pascal’s wager is the idea that one ought to believe in God for practical reasons, because of what one can gain if theism is true and what one has to lose if theism is false. In this paper, I argue that if epistemic permissivism is true, then the defender of Pascal’s wager has powerful responses to two prominent objections. First, I argue that (...)
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  19. To Believe is Not to Think: A Cross-Cultural Finding.Neil Van Leeuwen, Kara Weisman & Tanya Luhrmann - 2021 - Open Mind 5:91-99.
    Are religious beliefs psychologically different from matter-of-fact beliefs? Many scholars say no: that religious people, in a matter-of-fact way, simply think their deities exist. Others say yes: that religious beliefs are more compartmentalized, less certain, and less responsive to evidence. Little research to date has explored whether lay people themselves recognize such a difference. We addressed this question in a series of sentence completion tasks, conducted in five settings that differed both in religious traditions and in language: the US, Ghana, (...)
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  20. Sublating Rationality: The Eucharist as an Existential Trial.Liran Shia Gordon - 2021 - European Journal of Philosophy of Religion 13 (3):27-57.
    The Eucharist, as a pillar of Christian life and faith, stands at the center of the Mass. It bears multi-dimensional meanings and functions, each of which addresses a different aspect of Christian life and mindset. The study resonates dialectically between the Eucharist as a unique religious affirmation of faith and philosophical strategies that are developed to meet its challenges, particularly the rational frameworks by which the believer affirms that the consecrated bread and wine are Christ’s body and blood. On the (...)
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  21. The Rational Dynamics of Implicit Thought.Brett Karlan - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy.
    Implicit attitudes are mental states posited by psychologists to explain behaviors including implicit racial and gender bias. In this paper I investigate the belief view of the implicit attitudes, on which implicit attitudes are a kind of implicit belief. In particular, I focus on why implicit attitudes, if they are beliefs, are often resistant to updating in light of new evidence. I argue that extant versions of the belief view do not give a satisfactory account of this phenomenon. This is (...)
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  22. Hope: Conceptual and Normative Issues.Catherine Rioux - 2021 - Philosophy Compass 16 (3).
    Hope is often seen as at once valuable and dangerous: it can fuel our motivation in the face of challenges, but can also distract us from reality and lead us to irrationality. How can we learn to “hope well,” and what does “hoping well” involve? Contemporary philosophers disagree on such normative questions about hope and also on how to define hope as a mental state. This article explores recent philosophical debates surrounding the concept of hope and the norms governing hope. (...)
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  23. Beliefs and Biases.Shannon Spaulding - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):7575-7594.
    Philosophers are divided over whether implicit biases are beliefs. Critics of the belief model of implicit bias argue that empirical data show that implicit biases are habitual but unstable and not sensitive to evidence. They are not rational or consistently action-guiding like beliefs are supposed to be. In contrast, proponents of the belief model of implicit bias argue that they are stable enough, sensitive to some evidence, and do guide our actions, albeit haphazardly sometimes. With the help of revisionary notions (...)
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  24. Understanding Polarization: Meaning, Measures, and Model Evaluation.Aaron Bramson, Patrick Grim, Daniel J. Singer, William J. Berger, Graham Sack, Steven Fisher, Carissa Flocken & Bennett Holman - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (1):115-159.
    Polarization is a topic of intense interest among social scientists, but there is significant disagreement regarding the character of the phenomenon and little understanding of underlying mechanics. A first problem, we argue, is that polarization appears in the literature as not one concept but many. In the first part of the article, we distinguish nine phenomena that may be considered polarization, with suggestions of appropriate measures for each. In the second part of the article, we apply this analysis to evaluate (...)
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  25. Disambiguation of Social Polarization Concepts and Measures.Aaron Bramson, Patrick Grim, Daniel J. Singer, Steven Fisher, William Berger, Graham Sack & Carissa Flocken - 2016 - Journal of Mathematical Sociology 40:80-111.
    ABSTRACT This article distinguishes nine senses of polarization and provides formal measures for each one to refine the methodology used to describe polarization in distributions of attitudes. Each distinct concept is explained through a definition, formal measures, examples, and references. We then apply these measures to GSS data regarding political views, opinions on abortion, and religiosity—topics described as revealing social polarization. Previous breakdowns of polarization include domain-specific assumptions and focus on a subset of the distribution’s features. This has conflated multiple, (...)
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  26. Germs, Genes, and Memes: Functional and Fitness Dynamics on Information Networks.Patrick Grim, Daniel J. Singer, Christopher Reade & Stephen Fisher - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (2):219-243.
    It is widely accepted that the way information transfers across networks depends importantly on the structure of the network. Here, we show that the mechanism of information transfer is crucial: in many respects the effect of the specific transfer mechanism swamps network effects. Results are demonstrated in terms of three different types of transfer mechanism: germs, genes, and memes. With an emphasis on the specific case of transfer between sub-networks, we explore both the dynamics of each of these across networks (...)
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  27. Philosophical Analysis in Modeling Polarization: Notes From a Work in Progress.Patrick Grim, Aaron Bramson, Daniel J. Singer, Stephen Fisher, Carissa Flocken & William Berger - 2013 - In Paul Youngman & Mirsad Hadzikadik (eds.), Complexity and the Human Experience: Modeling Complexity in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Pan Sanford.
    A first take, matured in later work, in modeling belief polarization.
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  28. Hope as a Source of Grit.Catherine Rioux - forthcoming - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy.
    Psychologists and philosophers have argued that the capacity for perseverance or “grit” depends both on willpower and on a kind of epistemic resilience. But can a form of hopefulness in one’s future success also constitute a source of grit? I argue that substantial practical hopefulness, as a hope to bring about a desired outcome through exercises of one’s agency, can serve as a distinctive ground for the capacity for perseverance. Gritty agents’ “practical hope” centrally involves an attention-fuelled, risk-inclined weighting of (...)
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  29. Book Review: A. Zimmerman's "Belief: A Pragmatic Picture". [REVIEW]Peter Langland-Hassan - forthcoming - The Philosophical Review.
    Faced with the live, forced, and momentous option of whether to accept some form of theism, William James had the will to believe in God. Moved by similar pragmatic principles, Aaron Zimmerman advises self-professed egalitarians to believe they lack racist beliefs—even in the face of less explicit indices that, for some, point in the opposite direction.
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  30. Delusional Evidence-Responsiveness.Carolina Flores - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):6299-6330.
    Delusions are deeply evidence-resistant. Patients with delusions are unmoved by evidence that is in direct conflict with the delusion, often responding to such evidence by offering obvious, and strange, confabulations. As a consequence, the standard view is that delusions are not evidence-responsive. This claim has been used as a key argumentative wedge in debates on the nature of delusions. Some have taken delusions to be beliefs and argued that this implies that belief is not constitutively evidence-responsive. Others hold fixed the (...)
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  31. The Point of Political Belief.Michael Hannon & Jeroen de Ridder - 2021 - In Michael Hannon & Jeroen de Ridder (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Political Epistemology. Routledge.
    An intuitive and widely accepted view is that (a) beliefs aim at truth, (b) many citizens have stable and meaningful political beliefs, and (c) citizens choose to support political candidates or parties on the basis of their political beliefs. We argue that all three claims are false. First, we argue that political beliefs often differ from ordinary world-modelling beliefs because they do not aim at truth. Second, we draw on empirical evidence from political science and psychology to argue that most (...)
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  32. William James and Allama Iqbal on Empirical Faith.Mark J. Boone - 2020 - Heythrop Journal 61 (5):775-787.
    American Pragmatist philosopher William James and subcontinent Islamic philosopher Allama Iqbal both believe that religious experiences are an important class of those experiences with which empiricism is concerned. They both explain and defend religious belief on empirical grounds and argue that the ultimate empirical justification of a religious belief must come by looking at its fruits. This is no accident, for James influenced Iqbal on this very point. -/- However, they diverge in some matters. James defends the right to diverse (...)
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  33. Out of Habit.Santiago Amaya - 2020 - Synthese 198 (12):11161-11185.
    This paper argues that habits, just like beliefs, can guide intentional action. To do this, a variety of real-life cases where a person acts habitually but contrary to her beliefs are discussed. The cases serve as dissociations showing that intentional agency is possible without doxastic guidance. The upshot is a model for thinking about the rationality of habitual action and the rationalizing role that habits can play in it. The model highlights the role that our history and institutions play in (...)
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  34. Delusions as Herero-Dynamic Property Clusters.Shelby Clipp - 2020 - ScholarWorks.
    The standard position in psychiatry maintains that delusions are beliefs. However, the features of delusions often diverge from those typically associated with belief. This discrepancy has given rise to what I refer to as the doxastic status debate, which concerns whether delusions are best characterized as “beliefs.” Despite efforts, there has been little progress in settling this debate. I argue that the debate has been stymied because it’s largely a verbal dispute (Chalmers, 2011). I then attempt to advance the debate (...)
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  35. Concepts, Belief, and Perception.Alex Byrne - 2021 - In C. Demmerling & D. Schröder (eds.), Concepts in Thought, Action, and Emotion: New Essays.
    At least in one well-motivated sense of ‘concept’, all perception involves concepts, even perception as practiced by lizards and bees. That is because—the paper argues—all perception involves belief.
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  36. What is Special About De Se Attitudes?Stephan Torre & Clas Weber - 2021 - In Stephen Biggs & Heimir Geirsson (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Linguistic Reference. Routledge. pp. 464-481.
    De se attitudes seem to play a special role in action and cognition. This raises a challenge to the traditional way in which mental attitudes have been understood. In this chapter, we review the case for thinking that de se attitudes require special theoretical treatment and discuss various ways in which the traditional theory can be modified to accommodate de se attitudes.
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  37. Weighing Aims in Doxastic Deliberation.C. J. Atkinson - 2019 - Synthese (5):4635-4650.
    In this paper, I defend teleological theories of belief against the exclusivity objection. I argue that despite the exclusive influence of truth in doxastic deliberation, multiple epistemic aims interact when we consider what to believe. This is apparent when we focus on the processes involved in specific instances (or concrete cases) of doxastic deliberation, such that the propositions under consideration are specified. First, I out- line a general schema for weighing aims. Second, I discuss recent attempts to defend the teleological (...)
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  38. Ideology, Critique, and Social Structures.Matteo Bianchin - 2021 - Critical Horizons 22 (2):184-196.
    On Jaeggi’s reading, the immanent and progressive features of ideology critique are rooted in the connection between its explanatory and its normative tasks. I argue that this claim can be cashed out in terms of the mechanisms involved in a functional explanation of ideology and that stability plays a crucial role in this connection. On this reading, beliefs can be said to be ideological if (a) they have the function of supporting existing social practices, (b) they are the output of (...)
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  39. The Emotional Impact of Evil: Philosophical Reflections on Existential Problems.Nicholas Colgrove - 2019 - Open Theology 5 (1):125-135.
    In The Brothers Karamazov, Dostoyevsky illustrates that encounters with evil do not solely impact agents’ beliefs about God (or God’s existence). Evil impacts people on an emotional level as well. Authors like Hasker and van Inwagen sometimes identify the emotional impact of evil with the “existential” problem of evil. For better or worse, the existential version of the problem is often set aside in contemporary philosophical discussions. In this essay, I rely on Robert Roberts’ account of emotions as “concern-based construals” (...)
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  40. What Does Emotion Teach Us About Self-Deception? Affective Neuroscience in Support of Non-Intentionalism.Federico Lauria & Delphine Preissmann - 2018 - Les Ateliers de l'Éthique / the Ethics Forum 13 (2):70-94.
    Intuitively, affect plays an indispensable role in self-deception’s dynamic. Call this view “affectivism.” Investigating affectivism matters, as affectivists argue that this conception favours the non-intentionalist approach to self-deception and offers a unified account of straight and twisted self-deception. However, this line of argument has not been scrutinized in detail, and there are reasons to doubt it. Does affectivism fulfill its promises of non-intentionalism and unity? We argue that it does, as long as affect’s role in self-deception lies in affective filters—that (...)
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  41. Faith.Daniel Howard-Snyder - 2014 - In Robert Audi (ed.), The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy , 3rd edition. New York, NY, USA: Cambridge University Press.
    A brief article on faith as a psychological attitude.
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  42. Les attitudes russelliennes.Fabien Schang - 2017 - Cahiers de Philosophie de L’Université de Caen 54:149-168.
    Russell prétend qu’un examen des croyances est indispensable pour définir nos raisonnements quotidiens et comprendre ce que les philosophes entendent par la notion de vérité. Cela étant, l’auteur considère qu’une étude de ces croyances n’a aucun rapport avec la logique, laquelle concerne uniquement le vrai et le faux. En d’autres termes, Russell associe croyance et psychologie tout en réservant le domaine de la logique au thème de la proposition, vraie ou fausse par définition. Une certaine théorie de la vérité sous-tend (...)
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  43. Knowledge and Belief in the Letter of Paul the Persian.Said Hayati - 2016 - In Dietmar W. Winkler (ed.), Syrische Studien. LIT Verlag. pp. 63-73.
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  44. From Probabilities to Categorical Beliefs: Going Beyond Toy Models.Igor Douven & Hans Rott - 2018 - Journal of Logic and Computation 28 (6):1099-1124.
    According to the Lockean thesis, a proposition is believed just in case it is highly probable. While this thesis enjoys strong intuitive support, it is known to conflict with seemingly plausible logical constraints on our beliefs. One way out of this conflict is to make probability 1 a requirement for belief, but most have rejected this option for entailing what they see as an untenable skepticism. Recently, two new solutions to the conflict have been proposed that are alleged to be (...)
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  45. Lying by Promising. A Study on Insincere Illocutionary Acts.Neri Marsili - 2016 - International Review of Pragmatics 8 (2):271-313.
    This paper is divided into two parts. In the first part, I extend the traditional definition of lying to illocutionary acts executed by means of explicit performatives, focusing on promising. This is achieved in two steps. First, I discuss how the utterance of a sentence containing an explicit performative such as “I promise that Φ ” can count as an assertion of its content Φ . Second, I develop a general account of insincerity meant to explain under which conditions a (...)
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  46. Belief and Agency. [REVIEW]Lubomira Radoilska - 2014 - Philosophical Quarterly 64 (255):377-380.
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  47. The AGM Theory and Inconsistent Belief Change.Koji Tanaka - 2005 - Logique Et Analyse 48 (189-192):113-150.
    The problem of how to accommodate inconsistencies has attracted quite a number of researchers, in particular, in the area of database theory. The problem is also of concern in the study of belief change. For inconsistent beliefs are ubiquitous. However, comparatively little work has been devoted to discussing the problem in the literature of belief change. In this paper, I examine how adequate the AGM theory is as a logical framework for belief change involving inconsistencies. The technique is to apply (...)
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  48. Hume's Functionalism About Mental Kinds.Jason Zarri - manuscript
    A very common view of Hume’s distinction between impressions and ideas is that it is based on their intrinsic properties; specifically, their force and vivacity. Some interpreters have challenged this,one being David Landy (Landy 2006). He argues that for Hume the difference lies instead in the fact that impressions are not copies of anything, while ideas are copies of impressions. I regard this view as unsatisfactory, not because it is fundamentally mistaken but because (to put it in Humean terms) it (...)
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  49. Belief First.Franz Huber - 2013 - The Reasoner 7 (7):82.
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  50. On the Cognition of States of Affairs.Barry Smith - 1987 - In Kevin Mulligan (ed.), Speech Act and Sachverhalt: Reinach and the Foundations of Realist Phenomenology. Dordrecht: M. Nijhoff. pp. 189-225.
    The theory of speech acts put forward by Adolf Reinach in his "The A Priori Foundations of the Civil Law" of 1913 rests on a systematic account of the ontological structures associated with various different sorts of language use. One of the most original features of Reinach's account lies in hIs demonstration of how the ontological structure of, say, an action of promising or of commanding, may be modified in different ways, yielding different sorts of non-standard instances of the corresponding (...)
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