On Believing and Being Convinced

Cambridge University Press | Under Contract (manuscript)
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Epistemologists commonly distinguish between our outright doxastic states and our graded doxastic states. The outright doxastic states include believing that p, thinking that p, having the opinion that p, being sure that p, being certain that p, and doubting that p. In contrast, our graded doxastic states include degrees of confidence, credences, and perhaps certain degreed phenomenal states. But in addition to these commonly cited outright states we also have *conviction*, i.e. the state of being convinced (simpliciter) that something is the case. Further, in addition to the commonly cited graded states we also have *degrees of conviction*, i.e. being more or less convinced that something is the case. This book will explain how and why degrees of conviction lie at the heart of all of the outright doxastic states mentioned above. It will also provide a metaphysical account of degrees of conviction in terms of dispositional strength, and thereby provide a metaphysical account of all our outright doxastic states. An upshot of this is the emergence of an often overlooked species of the suspension of our outright states, one that yields new theoretical options for epistemologists wrestling with old problems.

Author's Profile

Paul Silva Jr.
University of Cologne


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