Coordination in Thought

Erkenntnis 87 (1):191-212 (2022)
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Abstract

Coordination in thought is the treatment of beliefs by the believer as being about the same thing. Such treatment can be indirect, via an identity belief, or direct. Direct coordination presents a problem concerning how this treatment is justified. Dickie accounts for the justification of coordination in terms of aptness to a motivational state: coordination serves to fulfil a need to represent things outside the mind. I argue that this account gets the problem coordination presents wrong, and so does not present an adequate solution. While the material of that account may be reconfigured to provide a more promising proposal, I argue that this depends on a specious psychology of belief, and will anyway end up being circular. I propose an account that, while similar in some ways, improves on both the official and reconfigured Dickie-style accounts, and points to some broader conclusions about the nature of rational cognition.

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Henry Clarke
University College London (PhD)

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