The authority of avowals and the concept of belief

European Journal of Philosophy 8 (1):20-39 (2000)
The pervasive dispositional model of belief is misguided. It fails to acknowledge the authority of first‐person ascriptions or avowals of belief, and the “decision principle”– that having decided the question whether p, there is, for me, no further question whether I believe that p. The dilemma is how one can have immediate knowledge of a state extended in time; its resolution lies in the expressive character of avowals – which does not imply a non‐assertoric thesis – and their non‐cognitive status. The common claim that there are higher‐order beliefs concerning ones present beliefs is rejected as unintelligible. The decision principle is defended against claims of “unconscious belief”; there is no interesting such category, since all beliefs are liable at some time to be considered, but mostly to be out of mind. Belief is not constituted by a disposition, but is connected with dispositions – it is an “attitude concept”
Keywords Authority  Avowals  Belief  Epistemology  Knowledge  Truth  Wright, C
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/1468-0378.00099
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,667
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Matthew Boyle (2009). Two Kinds of Self-Knowledge. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 78 (1):133-164.
Andy Hamilton (2008). Intention and the Authority of Avowals. Philosophical Explorations 11 (1):23 – 37.

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

30 ( #105,336 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

4 ( #183,615 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.