Belief and cognitive limitations

Philosophical Studies 172 (1):249-260 (2015)
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Abstract
A number of philosophers have argued that it is hard for finite agents like us to reason and make decisions relying solely on our credences and preferences. They hold that for us to cope with our cognitive limitations, we need binary beliefs as well. For they think that such beliefs, by disposing us to treat certain propositions as true, help us cut down on the number of possibilities we need to consider when we reason. But using Ross and Schroeder as my stalking horse, I argue that such an appeal to binary beliefs does not work. I begin by explaining why there’s supposedly a problem for an account of reasoning that invokes only credences and preferences. I then argue that Ross and Schroeder’s account of belief—as well as other similar accounts—does not help solve the problem. Finally, I consider an alternative approach to solving the problem. This approach, unlike the accounts I criticise, does not hold that having a disposition to treat a proposition as true is necessary for believing it
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Archival date: 2015-12-25
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