Belief versus acceptance

Philosophical Explorations 3 (2):122 – 137 (2000)
In this paper the problem of the relation between belief and acceptance is discussed in view of recent literature on the topic. Belief and acceptance are characterized in terms of a number of properties, which show both the similarities and the dissimilarities between these notions. In particular it is claimed - contrary to some recently expressed views - that acceptance need not be intentional action and that the differences between belief and acceptance do not boil down to the simple view that acceptance, contrary to belief, is based on the agent's direct exercise of his will. Acceptance which is not based on intentional action is shown in the paper to be especially closely related to belief, especially to linguistic belief. Thus if a person is in a non-intentional-ly acquired and held state of acceptance that something p, he also believes that p. Another general difference is that acceptance is language-dependent while there can be non-linguistic belief. Collective beliefs and acceptances are also briefly discussed in the paper Among other things, it is noted that the notion of wide as contrasted with truth-oriented, narrow acceptance is central in the collective case.
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