Belief

Edited by Rima Basu (Claremont McKenna College, University of Southern California)
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  1. How Are Metarepresentations Built and Processed.Manuel Bremer - 2012 - Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 26 (1):22-38.
    This paper looks at some aspects of semantic metarepresentation. It is mostly concerned with questions more formal, concerning the representation format in semantic metarepresentations, and the way they are processed. Section 1 distinguishes between metacognition and metarepresentation in a narrow and broad sense. Section 2 reminds the reader of some main areas where metarepresentations have to be used. The main part considers the ways that metarepresentations are built and processed. Section 3 introduces some general ideas how semantic metarepresentations are built (...)
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  2. Doxastic Logic.Michael Caie - forthcoming - Open Handbook of Formal Epistemology.
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  3. Beliefs as Inner Causes: The (Lack of) Evidence.Devin Sanchez Curry - 2018 - Philosophical Psychology:1-28.
    Many psychologists studying lay belief attribution and behavior explanation cite Donald Davidson in support of their assumption that people construe beliefs as inner causes. But Davidson’s influential argument is unsound; there are no objective grounds for the intuition that the folk construe beliefs as inner causes that produce behavior. Indeed, recent experimental work by Ian Apperly, Bertram Malle, Henry Wellman, and Tania Lombrozo provides an empirical framework that accords well with Gilbert Ryle’s alternative thesis that the folk construe beliefs as (...)
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  4. Consistency of Belief.Howard Darmstadter - 1971 - Journal of Philosophy 68 (10):301-310.
    A rational man’s beliefs are not logically consistent, and he does not believe all the logical consequences of his beliefs. This is because in any situational context, we only accept certain believed sentences. Within that context, we insist that sentences be logically consistent, and we accept the logical consequences of the other sentences we accept in that context. But such sentences do not have to be consistent with sentences we accept in other contexts, nor will we always accept in that (...)
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  5. Towards New Information Resources for Public Health: From WordNet to MedicalWordNet.Christane Fellbaum, Udo Hahn & Barry Smith - 2006 - Journal of Biomedical Informatics 39 (3):321-332.
    In the last two decades, WORDNET has evolved as the most comprehensive computational lexicon of general English. In this article, we discuss its potential for supporting the creation of an entirely new kind of information resource for public health, viz. MEDICAL WORDNET. This resource is not to be conceived merely as a lexical extension of the original WORDNET to medical terminology; indeed, there is already a considerable degree of overlap between WORDNET and the vocabulary of medicine. Instead, we propose a (...)
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  6. Changing Direction on Direction of Fit.Alex Gregory - 2012 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 15 (5):603-614.
    In this paper, I show that we should understand the direction of fit of beliefs and desires in normative terms. After rehearsing a standard objection to Michael Smith’s analysis of direction of fit, I raise a similar problem for Lloyd Humberstone’s analysis. I go on to offer my own account, according to which the difference between beliefs and desires is determined by the normative relations such states stand in. I argue that beliefs are states which we have reason to change (...)
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  7. Faith.Daniel Howard-Snyder - 2014 - In Robert Audi (ed.), The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    A brief article on faith as a psychological attitude.
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  8. Schellenberg on Propositional Faith.Daniel Howard-Snyder - 2013 - Religious Studies (2):181-194.
    This paper assesses J. L. Schellenberg’s account of propositional faith and, in light of that assessment, sketches an alternative that avoids certain objections and coheres better with Schellenberg’s aims.
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  9. Belief First.Franz Huber - 2013 - The Reasoner 7 (7):82.
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  10. Belief and Credence: Why the Attitude-Type Matters.Elizabeth Jackson - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
    In this paper, I argue that the relationship between belief and credence is a central question in epistemology. This is because the belief-credence relationship has significant implications for a number of current epistemological issues. I focus on five controversies: permissivism, disagreement, pragmatic encroachment, doxastic voluntarism, and the relationship between doxastic attitudes and prudential rationality. I argue that each debate is constrained in particular ways, depending on whether the relevant attitude is belief or credence. This means that (i) epistemologists should pay (...)
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  11. Faith, Belief and Fictionalism.Finlay Malcolm & Michael Scott - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (S1):257-274.
    Is propositional religious faith constituted by belief? Recent debate has focussed on whether faith may be constituted by a positive non-doxastic cognitive state, which can stand in place of belief. This paper sets out and defends the doxastic theory. We consider and reject three arguments commonly used in favour of non-doxastic theories of faith: (1) the argument from religious doubt; (2) the use of ‘faith’ in linguistic utterances; and (3) the possibility of pragmatic faith. We argue that belief is required (...)
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  12. Capturing Emotional Thoughts: The Philosophy of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy.Michael McEachrane - 2009 - In Ylva Gustafsson, Camilla Kronqvist & Michael McEachrane (eds.), Emotions and Understanding: Wittgensteinian Perspectives. Palgrave-Macmillan.
    This chapter examines two premises of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) - that emotions are caused by beliefs and that those beliefs are represented in the mind as words or images. Being a philosophical examination, the chapter also seeks to demonstrate that these two premises essentially are philosophical premises. The chapter begins with a brief methodological suggestion of how to properly evaluate the theory of CBT. From there it works it way from examining the therapeutic practice of capturing the mental representations that (...)
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  13. The Grammar of Belief.Michael McKinsey - 1998 - In William J. Rapaport & F. Orilia (eds.), Thought, Language, and Ontology, Essays in Memory of Hector-Neri Castaneda. Kluwer Academic Publishers.
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  14. Individuating Beliefs.Michael McKinsey - 1994 - Philosophical Perspectives 8:303-30.
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  15. Saving Belief From (Internalist) Epistemology.Adam Morton - 2003 - Facta Philosophica 5 (2):277-95.
    I point out that internalist conceptions of belief that have become outmoded in the philosophy of mind are still current in epistemology (or at any rate they were in 2003). I explore the consequences of bringing epistemology up to speed with a more contemporary conception of belief.
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  16. Agency and Reasons in Epistemology.Luis R. G. Oliveira - 2016 - Dissertation, University of Massachusetts Amherst
    Ever since John Locke, philosophers have discussed the possibility of a normative epistemology: are there epistemic obligations binding the cognitive economy of belief and disbelief? Locke's influential answer was evidentialist: we have an epistemic obligation to believe in accordance with our evidence. In this dissertation, I place the contemporary literature on agency and reasons at the service of some such normative epistemology. I discuss the semantics of obligations, the connection between obligations and reasons to believe, the implausibility of Lockean evidentialism, (...)
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  17. Indexical Reference and the Ontology of Belief.Michael J. Pendlebury - 1982 - South African Journal of Philosophy 1:65-74.
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  18. Belief and Agency. [REVIEW]Lubomira Radoilska - 2014 - Philosophical Quarterly 64 (255):377-380.
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  19. Is There Reason to Be Theoretically Rational?Andrew Reisner - 2011 - In Andrew Reisner & Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen (eds.), Reasons for Belief. Cambridge University Press.
    An important advance in normativity research over the last decade is an increased understanding of the distinction, and difference, between normativity and rationality. Normativity concerns or picks out a broad set of concepts that have in common that they are, put loosely, guiding. For example, consider two commonly used normative concepts: that of a normative reason and that of ought. To have a normative reason to perform some action is for there to be something that counts in favour of performing (...)
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  20. Belief, Credence, and Pragmatic Encroachment1.Jacob Ross & Mark Schroeder - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (2):259-288.
    This paper compares two alternative explanations of pragmatic encroachment on knowledge (i.e., the claim that whether an agent knows that p can depend on pragmatic factors). After reviewing the evidence for such pragmatic encroachment, we ask how it is best explained, assuming it obtains. Several authors have recently argued that the best explanation is provided by a particular account of belief, which we call pragmatic credal reductivism. On this view, what it is for an agent to believe a proposition is (...)
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  21. Propositional Clothing and Belief.Neil Sinclair - 2007 - Philosophical Quarterly 57 (228):342-362.
    Moral discourse is propositionally clothed, that is, it exhibits those features – such as the ability of its sentences to intelligibly embed in conditionals and other unasserted contexts – that have been taken by some philosophers to be constitutive of discourses that express propositions. If there is nothing more to a mental state being a belief than it being characteristically expressed by sentences that are propositionally clothed then the version of expressivism which accepts that moral discourse is propositionally clothed (‘quasi-realism’) (...)
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  22. How to Be a Teleologist About Epistemic Reasons.Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen - 2011 - In Asbjorn Steglich-Petersen & Andrew Reisner (eds.), Reasons for Belief. Cambridge University Press. pp. 13--33.
    In this paper I propose a teleological account of epistemic reasons. In recent years, the main challenge for any such account has been to explicate a sense in which epistemic reasons depend on the value of epistemic properties. I argue that while epistemic reasons do not directly depend on the value of epistemic properties, they depend on a different class of reasons which are value based in a direct sense, namely reasons to form beliefs about certain propositions or subject matters. (...)
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  23. 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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  24. The Possibility of Practical Reason.J. David Velleman - 1996 - Ethics 106 (4):694-726.
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  25. 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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Belief, Misc
  1. Reconceiving Direction of Fit.Avery Archer - 2015 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 4 (3):171-180.
    I argue that the concept of direction of fit is best seen as picking out a certain inferential property of a psychological attitude. The property in question is one that believing shares with assuming and fantasizing and fails to share with desire. Unfortunately, the standard analysis of DOF obscures this fact because it conflates two very different properties of an attitude: that in virtue of which it displays a certain DOF, and that in virtue of which it displays certain revision (...)
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  2. Review of Bortolotti's Delusions and Other Irrational Beliefs. [REVIEW]Emily Barrett & Cory Wright - 2015 - Philosophical Quarterly 65 (260):600–603.
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  3. Self-Consciousness and Reductive Functionalism.Arvid Båve - 2017 - Philosophical Quarterly 67 (266):1-21.
    It is argued that although George Bealer's influential ‘Self-Consciousness argument’ refutes standard versions of reductive functionalism (RF), it fails to generalize in the way Bealer supposes. To wit, he presupposes that any version of RF must take the content of ‘pain’ to be the property of being in pain (and so on), which is expressly rejected in independently motivated versions of conceptual role semantics (CRS). Accordingly, there are independently motivated versions of RF, incorporating CRS, which avoid Bealer's main type of (...)
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  4. The Epistemic Benefits of Reason Giving.Lisa Bortolotti - 2009 - Theory and Psychology 19 (5):1-22.
    There is an apparent tension in current accounts of the relationship between reason giving and self knowledge. On the one hand, philosophers like Richard Moran (2001) claim that deliberation and justification can give rise to first-person authority over the attitudes that subjects form or defend on the basis of what they take to be their best reasons. On the other hand, the psychological evidence on the introspection effects and the literature on elusive reasons suggest that engaging in explicit deliberation or (...)
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  5. The Ethics of Delusional Belief.Lisa Bortolotti & Kengo Miyazono - 2016 - Erkenntnis 81 (2):275-296.
    In this paper we address the ethics of adopting delusional beliefs and we apply consequentialist and deontological considerations to the epistemic evaluation of delusions. Delusions are characterised by their epistemic shortcomings and they are often defined as false and irrational beliefs. Despite this, when agents are overwhelmed by negative emotions due to the effects of trauma or previous adversities, or when they are subject to anxiety and stress as a result of hypersalient experience, the adoption of a delusional belief can (...)
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  6. Dynamic Beliefs and the Passage of Time.Darren Bradley - 2013 - In A. Capone & N. Feit (eds.), Attitudes De Se. University of Chicago.
    How should our beliefs change over time? Much has been written about how our beliefs should change in the light of new evidence. But that is not the question I’m asking. Sometimes our beliefs change without new evidence. I previously believed it was Sunday. I now believe it’s Monday. In this paper I discuss the implications of such beliefs for philosophy of language. I will argue that we need to allow for ‘dynamic’ beliefs, that we need new norms of belief (...)
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  7. Assertion, Belief, and Context.Roger Clarke - 2017 - Synthese:1-27.
    This paper argues for a treatment of belief as essentially sensitive to certain features of context. The first part gives an argument that we must take belief to be context-sensitive in the same way that assertion is, if we are to preserve appealing principles tying belief to sincere assertion. In particular, whether an agent counts as believing that p in a context depends on the space of alternative possibilities the agent is considering in that context. One and the same doxastic (...)
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  8. Warrant and Epistemic Virtues: Toward and Agent Reliabilist Account of Plantinga's Theory of Knowledge.Stewart Clem - 2008 - Dissertation, Oklahoma State University
    Alvin Plantinga’s theory of knowledge, as developed in his Warrant trilogy, has shaped the debates surrounding many areas in epistemology in profound ways. Plantinga has received his share of criticism, however, particularly in his treatment of belief in God as being “properly basic”. There has also been much confusion surrounding his notions of warrant and proper function, to which Plantinga has responded numerous times. Many critics remain unsatisfied, while others have developed alternative understandings of warrant in order to rescue Plantinga’s (...)
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  9. Understanding Without Justification or Belief.Finnur Dellsén - 2017 - Ratio 30 (3):239-254.
    In recent years there has been a resurgence of interest among epistemologists in the nature of understanding, with some authors arguing that understanding should replace knowledge as the primary focus of epistemology. But what is understanding? According to what is often called the standard view, understanding is a species of knowledge. Although this view has recently been challenged in various ways, even the critics of the standard view have assumed that understanding requires justification and belief. I argue that it requires (...)
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  10. Reasons for (Prior) Belief in Bayesian Epistemology.Franz Dietrich & Christian List - 2013 - Synthese 190 (5):781-786.
    Bayesian epistemology tells us with great precision how we should move from prior to posterior beliefs in light of new evidence or information, but says little about where our prior beliefs come from. It offers few resources to describe some prior beliefs as rational or well-justified, and others as irrational or unreasonable. A different strand of epistemology takes the central epistemological question to be not how to change one’s beliefs in light of new evidence, but what reasons justify a given (...)
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  11. Know-Wh Does Not Reduce to Know That.Katalin Farkas - 2016 - American Philosophical Quarterly 53 (2):109-122.
    Know -wh ascriptions are ubiquitous in many languages. One standard analysis of know -wh is this: someone knows-wh just in case she knows that p, where p is an answer to the question included in the wh-clause. Additional conditions have also been proposed, but virtually all analyses assume that propositional knowledge of an answer is at least a necessary condition for knowledge-wh. This paper challenges this assumption, by arguing that there are cases where we have knowledge-wh without knowledge- that of (...)
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  12. Two Versions of the Extended Mind Thesis.Katalin Farkas - 2012 - Philosophia 40 (3):435-447.
    According to the Extended Mind thesis, the mind extends beyond the skull or the skin: mental processes can constitutively include external devices, like a computer or a notebook. The Extended Mind thesis has drawn both support and criticism. However, most discussions—including those by its original defenders, Andy Clark and David Chalmers—fail to distinguish between two very different interpretations of this thesis. The first version claims that the physical basis of mental features can be located spatially outside the body. Once we (...)
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  13. How to Change People’s Beliefs? Doxastic Coercion Vs. Evidential Persuasion.Gheorghe-Ilie Farte - 2016 - Argumentum. Journal of the Seminar of Discursive Logic, Argumentation Theory and Rhetoric 14 (2):47-76.
    The very existence of society depends on the ability of its members to influence formatively the beliefs, desires, and actions of their fellows. In every sphere of social life, powerful human agents (whether individuals or institutions) tend to use coercion as a favorite shortcut to achieving their aims without taking into consideration the non-violent alternatives or the negative (unintended) consequences of their actions. This propensity for coercion is manifested in the doxastic sphere by attempts to shape people’s beliefs (and doubts) (...)
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  14. Credal Pragmatism.Jie Gao - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-23.
    According to doxastic pragmatism, certain perceived practical factors, such as high stakes and urgency, have systematic effects on normal subjects’ outright beliefs. Endorsement of doxastic pragmatism can be found in Weatherson (2005), Bach (2005, 2008, 2010), Ganson (2008) and Nagel (2008, 2010). Upholders of doxastic pragmatism have so far endorsed a particular version of this view, which we may call threshold pragmatism. This view holds that the sensitivity of belief to the relevant practical factors is due to a corresponding sensitivity (...)
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  15. The Normativity of Doxastic Correctness.Tsung-Hsing Ho - forthcoming - American Philosophical Quarterly.
    It is widely maintained that doxastic norms that govern how people should believe can be explained by the truism that belief is governed by the correctness norm: believing p is correct if and only if p. This approach fails because it confuses two kinds of correctness norm: (1) It is correct for S to believe p if and only p; and (2) believing p is correct qua belief if and only if p. Only can (2) be said to be a (...)
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  16. Propositional Faith: What It is and What It is Not.Daniel Howard-Snyder - 2013 - American Philosophical Quarterly 50 (4):357-372.
    Reprinted in Philosophy of Religion: An Anthology, Wadsworth 2015, 6th edition, eds Michael Rea and Louis Pojman. What is propositional faith? At a first approximation, we might answer that it is the psychological attitude picked out by standard uses of the English locution “S has faith that p,” where p takes declarative sentences as instances, as in “He has faith that they’ll win”. Although correct, this answer is not nearly as informative as we might like. Many people say that there (...)
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  17. Belief, Credence, and Faith.Elizabeth Jackson - forthcoming - Religious Studies:1-13.
    In this article, I argue that faith’s going beyond the evidence need not compromise faith’s epistemic rationality. First, I explain how some of the recent literature on belief and credence points to a distinction between what I call B-evidence and C-evidence. Then, I apply this distinction to rational faith. I argue that if faith is more sensitive to B-evidence than to C-evidence, faith can go beyond the evidence and still be epistemically rational.
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  18. The Belief Illusion.J. Christopher Jenson - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (4):965-995.
    I offer a new argument for the elimination of ‘beliefs’ from cognitive science based on Wimsatt’s concept of robustness and a related concept of fragility. Theoretical entities are robust if multiple independent means of measurement produce invariant results in detecting them. Theoretical entities are fragile when multiple independent means of detecting them produce highly variant results. I argue that sufficiently fragile theoretical entities do not exist. Recent studies in psychology show radical variance between what self-report and non-verbal behaviour indicate about (...)
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  19. Perspective and Epistemic State Ascriptions.Markus Kneer - 2018 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 9 (2):313-341.
    This article explores whether perspective taking has an impact on the ascription of epistemic states. To do so, a new method is introduced which incites participants to imagine themselves in the position of the protagonist of a short vignette and to judge from her perspective. In a series of experiments, perspective proves to have a significant impact on belief ascriptions, but not on knowledge ascriptions. For belief, perspective is further found to moderate the epistemic side-effect effect significantly. It is hypothesized (...)
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  20. Pretense, Imagination, and Belief: The Single Attitude Theory.Peter Langland-Hassan - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 159 (2):155-179.
    A popular view has it that the mental representations underlying human pretense are not beliefs, but are “belief-like” in important ways. This view typically posits a distinctive cognitive attitude (a “DCA”) called “imagination” that is taken toward the propositions entertained during pretense, along with correspondingly distinct elements of cognitive architecture. This paper argues that the characteristics of pretense motivating such views of imagination can be explained without positing a DCA, or other cognitive architectural features beyond those regulating normal belief and (...)
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  21. The Imagination Box.Shen-yi Liao & Tyler Doggett - 2014 - Journal of Philosophy 111 (5):259-275.
    Imaginative immersion refers to a phenomenon in which one loses oneself in make-believe. Susanna Schellenberg says that the best explanation of imaginative immersion involves a radical revision to cognitive architecture. Instead of there being an attitude of belief and a distinct attitude of imagination, there should only be one attitude that represents a continuum between belief and imagination. -/- We argue otherwise. Although imaginative immersion is a crucial data point for theorizing about the imagination, positing a continuum between belief and (...)
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  22. Can Fictionalists Have Faith?Finlay Malcolm - 2018 - Religious Studies 54 (2):215-232.
    According to non-doxastic theories of propositional faith, belief that p is not necessary for faith that p. Rather, propositional faith merely requires a ‘positive cognitive attitude’. This broad condition, however, can be satisfied by several pragmatic approaches to a domain, including fictionalism. This paper shows precisely how fictionalists can have faith given non-doxastic theory, and explains why this is problematic. It then explores one means of separating the two theories, in virtue of the fact that the truth of the propositions (...)
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  23. Attitude, Inference, Association: On the Propositional Structure of Implicit Bias.Eric Mandelbaum - 2016 - Noûs 50 (3):629-658.
    The overwhelming majority of those who theorize about implicit biases posit that these biases are caused by some sort of association. However, what exactly this claim amounts to is rarely specified. In this paper, I distinguish between different understandings of association, and I argue that the crucial senses of association for elucidating implicit bias are the cognitive structure and mental process senses. A hypothesis is subsequently derived: if associations really underpin implicit biases, then implicit biases should be modulated by counterconditioning (...)
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  24. Believing Without Reason.Eric Mandelbaum & Jake Quilty-Dunn - 2015 - The Harvard Review of Philosophy 22:42-52.
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  25. The Nature of Doubt and a New Puzzle About Belief, Doubt, and Confidence.Andrew Moon - 2018 - Synthese 195 (4):1827-1848.
    In this paper, I present and defend a novel account of doubt. In Part 1, I make some preliminary observations about the nature of doubt. In Part 2, I introduce a new puzzle about the relationship between three psychological states: doubt, belief, and confidence. I present this puzzle because my account of doubt emerges as a possible solution to it. Lastly, in Part 3, I elaborate on and defend my account of doubt. Roughly, one has doubt if and only if (...)
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