David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Theoria 68 (3):224-49 (2002)
It is sometimes said that humans are unlike other animals in at least one crucial respect. We do not simply form beliefs, desires and other mental states, but are capable of caring about our mental states in a distinctive way. We can care about the justification of our beliefs, and about the desirability of our desires. This kind of observation is usually made in discussions of free will and moral responsibility. But it has profound consequences, or so I shall argue, for our conception of the very nature of beliefs and other mental states. Suitably developed, it allows us to draw a line between two distinct ways in which a creature may possess a belief, represent a scene, and fall into error. The first way (which I shall call the 'mindless' way) involves little more than an encoding of information in some way designed to guide appropriate response. This is the common heritage of humans, and many other animals. The second way (which I shall call the 'mindful' way) requires that the creature be capable in addition of a special kind of second-order reflection, and (importantly) be expert at detecting the kinds of situation in which such reflection is called for. The differences between these two ways of 'believing that P' are sufficiently deep and significant to warrant (or so I claim) our treating them as two distinct classes of mental states. For it is only courtesy of the second layer of complexity, I shall argue, that it becomes proper to hold someone accountable for their beliefs or other mental states, and it is this fact of (something like) accountability that in turn raises the most significant challenge for philosophical attempts to give naturalized accounts of meaning, belief, and mentality
|Keywords||Accountability Belief Epistemology Expertise Mind Natural Kinds|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
Francisco Varela, Evan Thompson & Eleanor Rosch (1991). The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience. MIT Press.
Robert B. Brandom (1994). Making It Explicit: Reasoning, Representing, and Discursive Commitment. Harvard University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Lynne Rudder Baker (2001). Are Beliefs Brain States? In Anthonie W. M. Meijers (ed.), Explaining Beliefs. CSLI Publications (Stanford)
John Collins (1995). Desire-as-Belief Implies Opinionation or Indifference. Analysis 55 (1):2 - 5.
Dan Sperber (1997). Intuitive and Reflective Beliefs. Mind and Language 12 (1):67-83.
Leslie F. Stevenson (2002). Six Levels of Mentality. Philosophical Explorations 5 (2):105-124.
Jordi Fernandez (2007). Desire and Self-Knowledge. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 85 (4):517-536.
Zoltan P. Majdik & William M. Keith (2011). The Problem of Pluralistic Expertise: A Wittgensteinian Approach to the Rhetorical Basis of Expertise. Social Epistemology 25 (3):275 - 290.
David Beisecker (1999). The Importance of Being Erroneous: Prospects for Animal Intentionality. Philosophical Topics 27 (1):281-308.
Keith Frankish (1998). Natural Language and Virtual Belief. In Peter Carruthers & Jill Boucher (eds.), Language and Thought: Interdisciplinary Themes. Cambridge University Press 248.
Hilla Jacobson (2010). Normativity Without Reflectivity: On the Beliefs and Desires of Non-Reflective Creatures. Philosophical Psychology 23 (1):75-93.
Tyler Burge (2003). Perceptual Entitlement. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 67 (3):503-548.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads96 ( #39,737 of 1,789,801 )
Recent downloads (6 months)18 ( #44,308 of 1,789,801 )
How can I increase my downloads?