The prospects for Dretske's account of the explanatory role of belief

Mind and Language 11 (2):203-15 (1996)
When a belief is cited as part of the explanation of an agent’s behaviour, it seems that the belief is explanatorily relevant in virtue of its content. In his Explaining Behavior, Dretske presents an account of belief, content, and explanation according to which this can be so. I supply some examples of beliefs whose explanatory relevance in virtue of content apparently cannot be accounted for in the Dretskean way. After considering some possible responses to this challenge, I end by discussing how serious these counterexamples are for Dretske’s account.
Keywords Belief  Epistemology  Meaning  Dretske, F  causal relevance
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DOI 10.1111/j.1468-0017.1996.tb00041.x
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Fred Dretske (1990). Reply to Reviewers. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 50 (4):819 - 839.

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