Aiming at Truth: On the Role of Belief
2013 (English)In: Teorema, ISSN 0210-1602, Vol. 32, no 3, 137-162 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
We explore the possibility of characterizing belief wholly in terms of its first-order functional role, its input (evidence) and output (further beliefs and actions), by addressing some common challenges to the view. One challenge concerns the fact that not all belief is evidence-sensitive. In response to this, normativists and teleo-functionalists have concluded that something over and above functional role is needed, a norm or a telos. We argue that both allow for implausibly much divergence between belief and evidence. Others have suggested that belief should be saved as the evidence-sensitive attitude, by making it share its motivational role with an hitherto unrecognized state: alief. We argue that the appeal to alief faces a dilemma: Either explanation of intentional action by means of alief is a species of intentional explanation, in which case it becomes hard to distinguish alief from (irrational) belief, or alief is sufficiently different from belief, but then neither the explanation nor the explanandum (action) are recognizably intentional any longer. We conclude that the most promising way forward is an account of belief that makes use of the full functional role of belief, including its role in theoretical reasoning.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 32, no 3, 137-162 p.
Belief, Normativism, Teleo-Functionalism, Reasons, Action Explanation, Alief
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-98978ISI: 000343793100009OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-98978DiVA: diva2:686035