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  1. Do Religious “Beliefs” Respond to Evidence?Neil Van Leeuwen - 2017 - Philosophical Explorations 20 (sup1):52-72.
    Some examples suggest that religious credences respond to evidence. Other examples suggest they are wildly unresponsive. So the examples taken together suggest there is a puzzle about whether descriptive religious attitudes respond to evidence or not. I argue for a solution to this puzzle according to which religious credences are characteristically not responsive to evidence; that is, they do not tend to be extinguished by contrary evidence. And when they appear to be responsive, it is because the agents with those (...)
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  • The Factual Belief Fallacy.Neil Van Leeuwen - 2018 - Contemporary Pragmatism (eds. T. Coleman & J. Jong):319-343.
    This paper explains a fallacy that often arises in theorizing about human minds. I call it the Factual Belief Fallacy. The Fallacy, roughly, involves drawing conclusions about human psychology that improperly ignore the large backgrounds of mostly accurate factual beliefs people have. The Factual Belief Fallacy has led to significant mistakes in both philosophy of mind and cognitive science of religion. Avoiding it helps us better see the difference between factual belief and religious credence; seeing that difference in turn enables (...)
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  • Does "Think" Mean the Same Thing as "Believe"? Insights Into Religious Cognition.Larisa Heiphetz, Casey Landers & Neil Van Leeuwen - forthcoming - Psychology of Religion and Spirituality.
    When someone says she believes that God exists, is she expressing the same kind of mental state as when she says she thinks that a lake bigger than Lake Michigan exists⎯i.e., does she refer to the same kind of cognitive attitude in both cases? Using evidence from linguistic corpora (Study 1) and behavioral experiments (Studies 2-4), the current work provides evidence that individuals typically use the word “believe” more in conjunction with statements about religious credences and “think” more in conjunction (...)
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  • Imaginative Resistance, Narrative Engagement, Genre.Shen-yi Liao - 2016 - Res Philosophica 93 (2):461-482.
    Imaginative resistance refers to a phenomenon in which people resist engaging in particular prompted imaginative activities. On one influential diagnosis of imaginative resistance, the systematic difficulties are due to these particular propositions’ discordance with real-world norms. This essay argues that this influential diagnosis is too simple. While imagination is indeed by default constrained by real-world norms during narrative engagement, it can be freed with the power of genre conventions and expectations.
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  • Is Self-Deception Pretense?José Eduardo Porcher - 2014 - Manuscrito 37 (2):291-332.
    I assess Tamar Gendler's (2007) account of self-deception according to which its characteristic state is not belief, but imaginative pretense. After giving an overview of the literature and presenting the conceptual puzzles engendered by the notion of self-deception, I introduce Gendler's account, which emerges as a rival to practically all extant accounts of self-deception. I object to it by first arguing that her argument for abandoning belief as the characteristic state of self-deception conflates the state of belief and the process (...)
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  • Imagination and Belief in Action.Anna Ichino - forthcoming - Philosophia:1-18.
    Imagination and belief are obviously different. Imagining that you have won the lottery is not quite the same as believing that you have won. But what is the difference? According to a standard view in the contemporary debate, they differ in two key functional respects. First, with respect to the cognitive inputs to which they respond: imaginings do not respond to real-world evidence as beliefs do. Second, with respect to the behavioural outputs that they produce: imaginings do not motivate us (...)
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  • Transparency Belongs to Action, Not to Belief.Nikolai Viedge - forthcoming - South African Journal of Philosophy 37 (2):217-228.
    In setting out their normative account of the truth-belief relationship, Nishi Shah and David Velleman make two claims about a feature of doxastic deliberation they call transparency. Firstly, transparency is a feature only of doxastic deliberation. Secondly, teleological theories of the truth-belief relationship cannot account for both transparency and the non-evidential factors present in instances of motivated belief. Therefore, they argue, we should abandon teleological accounts in favour of a normative one, which is able to make sense of both descriptive (...)
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  • Explaining Doxastic Transparency: Aim, Norm, or Function?Ema Sullivan-Bissett - 2018 - Synthese 195 (8):3453-3476.
    I argue that explanations of doxastic transparency which go via an appeal to an aim or norm of belief are problematic. I offer a new explanation which appeals to a biological function of our mechanisms for belief production. I begin by characterizing the phenomenon, and then move to the teleological and normative accounts of belief, advertised by their proponents as able to give an explanation of it. I argue that, at the very least, both accounts face serious difficulties in this (...)
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  • Biased by Our Imaginings.Ema Sullivan‐Bissett - forthcoming - Mind and Language.
    I propose a new model of implicit bias, according to which implicit biases are constituted by unconscious imaginings. I begin by endorsing a principle of parsimony when confronted with unfamiliar phenomena. I introduce implicit bias in terms congenial to what most philosophers and psychologists have said about their nature in the literature so far, before moving to a discussion of the doxastic model of implicit bias and objections to it. I then introduce unconscious imagination and argue that appeal to it (...)
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  • Religious Credence is Not Factual Belief.Neil Van Leeuwen - 2014 - Cognition 133 (3):698-715.
    I argue that psychology and epistemology should posit distinct cognitive attitudes of religious credence and factual belief, which have different etiologies and different cognitive and behavioral effects. I support this claim by presenting a range of empirical evidence that religious cognitive attitudes tend to lack properties characteristic of factual belief, just as attitudes like hypothesis, fictional imagining, and assumption for the sake of argument generally lack such properties. Furthermore, religious credences have distinctive properties of their own. To summarize: factual beliefs (...)
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  • The Meanings of “Imagine” Part II: Attitude and Action.Neil Van Leeuwen - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (11):791-802.
    In this Part II, I investigate different approaches to the question of what makes imagining different from belief. I find that the sentiment-based approach of David Hume falls short, as does the teleological approach, once advocated by David Velleman. I then consider whether the inferential properties of beliefs and imaginings may differ. Beliefs, I claim, exhibit an anti-symmetric inferential governance over imaginings: they are the background that makes inference from one imagining to the other possible; the reverse is not true, (...)
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