The empirical virtues of belief

Philosophical Psychology 4 (3):303-23 (1991)
Abstract Meeting the eliminativist challenge to folk psychology requires showing that beliefs have explanatory virtues unlikely to be duplicated by non?cognitive accounts of behavior. The explanatory power of beliefs is rooted in their intentionality. That beliefs have a distinctive kind of intentionality is shown by the distinctive intensionality of the sentences which report them. Contrary to Fodor, the fundamental explanatory virtues of beliefs are not to be found in their capacity to make causally inactive properties relevant to the explanation of behavior. Rather, the distinctive intentionality of beliefs provides the best explanation of the fact that fully intelligent behavior displays a selectivity of response to properties of the perceptual environment
Keywords Behavior  Belief  Intentionality  Psychology  Science
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DOI 10.1080/09515089108573033
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Andrew D. Cling (2008). The Epistemic Regress Problem. Philosophical Studies 140 (3):401 - 421.

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