Believing in things

I argue against the standard view that ontological debates can be fully described as disagreements about what we should believe to exist. The central thesis of the paper is that believing in Fs in the ontologically relevant sense requires more than merely believing that Fs exist. Believing in Fs is not even a propositional attitude; it is rather an attitude one bears to the term expressed by 'Fs'. The representational correctness of such a belief requires not only that there be Fs, but also that the term expressed by 'Fs' should not misrepresent them. In certain cases we might believe that there are Fs without believing our conception of Fs applies to them. This may well be the situation we are in with regard to abstract entities of various sorts
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DOI 10.1111/j.1933-1592.2003.tb00280.x
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References found in this work BETA
Paul Horwich (2005). Truth. In Frank Jackson & Michael Smith (eds.), Erkenntnis. Oxford University Press 261-272.

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Citations of this work BETA
Alex Grzankowski (2012). Not All Attitudes Are Propositional. European Journal of Philosophy (3):374-391.
Agustín Rayo (2007). Ontological Commitment. Philosophy Compass 2 (3):428–444.
Friederike Moltmann (2013). The Semantics of Existence. Linguistics and Philosophy 36 (1):31-63.

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