The Limits of the Doxastic

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It is usual to distinguish between two kinds of doxastic attitude: standing or dispositional states, which govern our actions and persist throughout changes in consciousness; and conscious episodes of acknowledging the truth of a proposition. What is the relationship between these two kinds of attitude? Normally, the conscious episodes are in harmony with the underlying dispositions, but sometimes they come apart and we act in a way that is contrary to our explicit conscious judgements. Philosophers have often tried to explain these situations in largely doxastic terms, by identifying one or other of the attitudes as our ‘real’ beliefs. This chapter argues that this is not generally realistic and we should appeal to a wider range of psychological attitudes. Such an account would be best supported by a picture of the unconscious mind which does not sharply separate the doxastic from the conative and the affective.
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Archival date: 2021-08-03
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