Belief

Edited by Rima Basu (Claremont McKenna College)
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  1. The Rational Dynamics of Implicit Thought.Brett Karlan - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy.
    Implicit attitudes are mental states posited by psychologists to explain behaviors including implicit racial and gender bias. In this paper I investigate the belief view of the implicit attitudes, on which implicit attitudes are a kind of implicit belief. In particular, I focus on why implicit attitudes, if they are beliefs, are often resistant to updating in light of new evidence. I argue that extant versions of the belief view do not give a satisfactory account of this phenomenon. This is (...)
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  2. How to Think About the Debate Over the Reality of Beliefs.Krzysztof Poslajko - forthcoming - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-23.
    The aim of this paper is to propose a new conceptualization of the distinction between realism and anti-realism about beliefs that is based on the division between natural and non-natural properties, as defined by Lewis. It will be argued that although the traditional form of anti-realism about beliefs, namely eliminative materialism, has failed, there is a possibility to reformulate the division in question. The background assumption of the proposal is the framework of deflationism about truth and existence: it will be (...)
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  3. Reflections on Mirror Man.Frank Jackson & Daniel Stoljar - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
    Juhani Yli-Vakkuri and John Hawthorne have recently presented a thought experiment—Mirror Man—designed to refute internalist theories of belief and content. We distinguish five ways in which the case can be interpreted and argue that on none does it refute internalism.
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  4. Presupposing, Believing, Having Faith.Carlos Miguel Gómez Rincón - 2021 - Sophia 60 (1):103-121.
    This paper traces the borders between presupposing, believing, and having faith. These three attitudes are often equated and confused in the contemporary image of the historically and culturally situated character of rationality. This confusion is problematic because, on the one hand, it prevents us from fully appreciating the way in which this image of rationality points towards a dissolving of the opposition between faith and reason; on the other hand, it leads to forms of fideism. After bringing this differentiation into (...)
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  5. The Prospects for Debunking Non-Theistic Belief.Thaddeus Robinson - 2021 - Sophia 60 (1):83-89.
    According to The Debunking Argument, evidence from the cognitive science of religion suggests that it is epistemically inappropriate to persist in believing in the theistic God. In this paper, I focus on a reply to this argument according to which the evidence from cognitive science says nothing about the epistemic propriety of belief in the theistic God, since God may have chosen to create human beliefs in God by means of precisely the systems identified by cognitive scientists. I argue that (...)
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  6. Hope: Conceptual and Normative Issues.Catherine Rioux - 2021 - Philosophy Compass 16 (3).
    Hope is often seen as at once valuable and dangerous: it can fuel our motivation in the face of challenges, but can also distract us from reality and lead us to irrationality. How can we learn to “hope well,” and what does “hoping well” involve? Contemporary philosophers disagree on such normative questions about hope and also on how to define hope as a mental state. This article explores recent philosophical debates surrounding the concept of hope and the norms governing hope. (...)
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  7. Beliefs and Biases.Shannon Spaulding - forthcoming - Synthese:1-20.
    Philosophers are divided over whether implicit biases are beliefs. Critics of the belief model of implicit bias argue that empirical data show that implicit biases are habitual but unstable and not sensitive to evidence. They are not rational or consistently action-guiding like beliefs are supposed to be. In contrast, proponents of the belief model of implicit bias argue that they are stable enough, sensitive to some evidence, and do guide our actions, albeit haphazardly sometimes. With the help of revisionary notions (...)
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  8. Understanding Polarization: Meaning, Measures, and Model Evaluation.Aaron Bramson, Patrick Grim, Daniel J. Singer, William Berger, Graham Sack, Steven Fisher, Carissa Flocken & Bennett Holman - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84:115-159.
    Polarization is a topic of intense interest among social scientists, but there is significant disagreement regarding the character of the phenomenon and little understanding of underlying mechanics. A first problem, we argue, is that polarization appears in the literature as not one concept but many. In the first part of the article, we distinguish nine phenomena that may be considered polarization, with suggestions of appropriate measures for each. In the second part of the article, we apply this analysis to evaluate (...)
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  9. Disambiguation of Social Polarization Concepts and Measures.Aaron Bramson, Patrick Grim, Daniel J. Singer, Steven Fisher, William Berger, Graham Sack & Carissa Flocken - 2016 - Journal of Mathematical Sociology 40:80-111.
    ABSTRACT This article distinguishes nine senses of polarization and provides formal measures for each one to refine the methodology used to describe polarization in distributions of attitudes. Each distinct concept is explained through a definition, formal measures, examples, and references. We then apply these measures to GSS data regarding political views, opinions on abortion, and religiosity—topics described as revealing social polarization. Previous breakdowns of polarization include domain-specific assumptions and focus on a subset of the distribution’s features. This has conflated multiple, (...)
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  10. Germs, Genes, and Memes: Functional and Fitness Dynamics on Information Networks.Patrick Grim, Daniel J. Singer, Christopher Reade & Stephen Fisher - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82:219-243.
    It is widely accepted that the way information transfers across networks depends importantly on the structure of the network. Here, we show that the mechanism of information transfer is crucial: in many respects the effect of the specific transfer mechanism swamps network effects. Results are demonstrated in terms of three different types of transfer mechanism: germs, genes, and memes. With an emphasis on the specific case of transfer between sub-networks, we explore both the dynamics of each of these across networks (...)
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  11. Philosophical Analysis in Modeling Polarization: Notes From a Work in Progress.Patrick Grim, Aaron Bramson, Daniel J. Singer, Stephen Fisher, Carissa Flocken & William Berger - 2013 - In Paul Youngman & Mirsad Hadzikadik (eds.), Complexity and the Human Experience: Modeling Complexity in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Pan Sanford.
  12. Hope as a Source of Grit.Catherine Rioux - forthcoming - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy.
    Psychologists and philosophers have argued that the capacity for perseverance or “grit” depends both on willpower and on a kind of epistemic resilience. But can a form of hopefulness in one’s future success also constitute a source of grit? I argue that substantial practical hopefulness, as a hope to bring about a desired outcome through exercises of one’s agency, can serve as a distinctive ground for the capacity for perseverance. Gritty agents’ “practical hope” centrally involves an attention-fuelled, risk-inclined weighting of (...)
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  13. Book Review: A. Zimmerman's "Belief: A Pragmatic Picture". [REVIEW]Peter Langland-Hassan - forthcoming - The Philosophical Review.
    Faced with the live, forced, and momentous option of whether to accept some form of theism, William James had the will to believe in God. Moved by similar pragmatic principles, Aaron Zimmerman advises self-professed egalitarians to believe they lack racist beliefs—even in the face of less explicit indices that, for some, point in the opposite direction.
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  14. True Grit and the Positivity of Faith.Finlay Malcolm & Michael Scott - 2021 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 17 (1):(A1)5-32.
    Most contemporary accounts of the nature of faith explicitly defend what we call ‘the positivity theory of faith’ – the theory that faith must be accompanied by a favourable evaluative belief, or a desire towards the object of faith. This paper examines the different varieties of the positivity theory and the arguments used to support it. Whilst initially plausible, we find that the theory faces numerous problematic counterexamples, and show that weaker versions of the positivity theory are ultimately implausible. We (...)
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  15. Morality Justifies Motivated Reasoning in the Folk Ethics of Belief.Corey Cusimano & Tania Lombrozo - forthcoming - Cognition:104513.
    When faced with a dilemma between believing what is supported by an impartial assessment of the evidence (e.g., that one's friend is guilty of a crime) and believing what would better fulfill a moral obligation (e.g., that the friend is innocent), people often believe in line with the latter. But is this how people think beliefs ought to be formed? We addressed this question across three studies and found that, across a diverse set of everyday situations, people treat moral considerations (...)
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  16. El pragmatismo biológico de las creencias.Miguel Cabrera Machado - 2019 - Caracas: Amazon.
    La teleosemántica es una teoría teleológica de las representaciones mentales, propugnada por David Papineau, que tiene como propósito ofrecer una explicación naturalista y evolucionista de dichas representaciones, en particular de las creencias. Mi objetivo será analizar las creencias y su relación con la verdad en la obra de Papineau. Según Papineau, los contenidos y las representaciones mentales, específicamente las creencias, cumplen funciones derivadas de la evolución biológica de la especie, y correlativamente, la finalidad de las creencias y los contenidos proviene (...)
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  17. Conceptual Engineering and Semantic Deference.Joey Pollock - 2019 - Studia Philosophica Estonica 12:81-98.
    Many ameliorative projects aim at moral goods such as social equality. For example, the amelioration of the concept MARRIAGE forms part of efforts to achieve equal rights for the LGBT+ community. What does implementation of such an ameliorated concept consist in? In this paper, I argue that, for some ameliorated concepts, successful implementation requires that individuals eschew semantic deference, at least with respect to relevant dimensions of the concept. My argument appeals to consideration of the aims of conceptual engineers engaged (...)
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  18. Effort, Uncertainty, and the Sense of Agency.Oliver Lukitsch - 2020 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 11 (4):955-975.
    Orthodox neurocognitive accounts of the bodily sense of agency suggest that the experience of agency arises when action-effects are anticipated accurately. In this paper, I argue that while successful anticipation is crucial for the sense of agency, the role of unsuccessful prediction has been neglected, and that inefficacy and uncertainty are no less central to the sense of agency. I will argue that this is reflected in the phenomenology of agency, which can be characterized both as the experience of efficacy (...)
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  19. The Point of Political Belief.Michael Hannon & Jeroen de Ridder - forthcoming - In Michael Hannon & Jeroen de Ridder (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Political Epistemology.
    An intuitive and widely accepted view is that (a) beliefs aim at truth, (b) many citizens have stable and meaningful political beliefs, and (c) citizens choose to support political candidates or parties on the basis of their political beliefs. We argue that all three claims are false. First, we argue that political beliefs often differ from ordinary world-modelling beliefs because they do not aim at truth. Second, we draw on empirical evidence from political science and psychology to argue that most (...)
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  20. Enigmas of Reason.B. Voorhees - 2020 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 27 (9-10):228-251.
    What is human reason, how did it arise, how is it connected to animal reason? In The Enigma of Reason (ER) Hugo Mercier and Dan Sperber (2017) suggest that reason evolved driven by the need to support communication and coordination in small human groups. They contrast this to the idea that the function of reason is to enable humans to make better decisions and develop more accurate beliefs. After a summation of the ER argument, the theory is critiqued and two (...)
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  21. Exploring by Believing.Sara Aronowitz - forthcoming - The Philosophical Review.
    Sometimes, we face choices between actions most likely to lead to valuable outcomes, and actions which put us in a better position to learn. These choices exemplify what is called the exploration/exploitation trade-off. In computer science and psychology, this trade-off has fruitfully been applied to modulating the way agents or systems make choices over time. In this paper, I argue that the trade-off also extends to belief. We can be torn between two ways of believing, one of which is expected (...)
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  22. Wittgenstein on Understanding Religious Beliefs: Some Remarks Against Incommensurability and Scepticism.Yuliya Fadeeva - 2020 - Wittgenstein-Studien 11 (1):53-78.
    Wittgenstein’s writings on religious and magical beliefs, especially the “Lectures on Religious Belief” and “Remarks on Frazer’s Golden Bough” are taken to imply semantic incommensurability and inaccessibility by the Wittgensteinian Fideism and, in part, the expressivist interpretation. According to these interpretations, religious and non-religious discourses are self-contained, closed, and not intertranslatable. Wittgenstein is taken to deny mutual understanding between believers and non-believers with respect to religious and magical discourse. I argue against such interpretations and support readings by Kusch, Schroeder, and (...)
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  23. Beyond Belief: Logic in Multiple Attitudes.Franz Dietrich, Antonios Staras & Robert Sugden - manuscript
    Choice-theoretic and philosophical accounts of rationality and reasoning address a multi-attitude psychology, including beliefs, desires, intentions, etc. By contrast, logicians traditionally focus on beliefs only. Yet there is 'logic' in multiple attitudes. We propose a generalization of the three standard logical requirements on beliefs -- consistency, completeness, and deductive closedness -- towards multiple attitudes. How do these three logical requirements relate to rational requirements, e.g., of transitive preferences or non-akratic intentions? We establish a systematic correspondence: each logical requirement (consistency, completeness, (...)
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  24. William James and Allama Iqbal on Empirical Faith.Mark J. Boone - 2020 - Heythrop Journal 61 (5):775-787.
    American Pragmatist philosopher William James and subcontinent Islamic philosopher Allama Iqbal both believe that religious experiences are an important class of those experiences with which empiricism is concerned. They both explain and defend religious belief on empirical grounds and argue that the ultimate empirical justification of a religious belief must come by looking at its fruits. This is no accident, for James influenced Iqbal on this very point. -/- However, they diverge in some matters. James defends the right to diverse (...)
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  25. Out of Habit.Santiago Amaya - forthcoming - Synthese:1-25.
    This paper argues that habits, just like beliefs, can guide intentional action. To do this, a variety of real-life cases where a person acts habitually but contrary to her beliefs are discussed. The cases serve as dissociations showing that intentional agency is possible without doxastic guidance. The upshot is a model for thinking about the rationality of habitual action and the rationalizing role that habits can play in it. The model highlights the role that our history and institutions play in (...)
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  26. Delusions as Herero-Dynamic Property Clusters.Shelby Clipp - 2020 - ScholarWorks.
    The standard position in psychiatry maintains that delusions are beliefs. However, the features of delusions often diverge from those typically associated with belief. This discrepancy has given rise to what I refer to as the doxastic status debate, which concerns whether delusions are best characterized as “beliefs.” Despite efforts, there has been little progress in settling this debate. I argue that the debate has been stymied because it’s largely a verbal dispute (Chalmers, 2011). I then attempt to advance the debate (...)
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  27. A Will to Believe: Shakespeare and Religion. By David Scott Kastan. Pp. 155, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014, $39.95. [REVIEW]Andrea Campana - 2020 - Heythrop Journal 61 (3):544-545.
  28. Delusions and Theories of Belief.Michael H. Connors & Peter W. Halligan - 2020 - Consciousness and Cognition 81:102935.
  29. Becoming a Christian: Combining Prior Belief, Evidence, and Will. [REVIEW]Lydia McGrew - 2018 - Philosophia Christi 20 (2):599-603.
  30. Concepts, Belief, and Perception.Alex Byrne - forthcoming - In C. Demmerling & D. Schröder (eds.), Concepts in Thought, Action, and Emotion: New Essays.
    At least in one well-motivated sense of ‘concept’, all perception involves concepts, even perception as practiced by lizards and bees. That is because—the paper argues—all perception involves belief.
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  31. Religious Belief as Acquired Second Nature.Hans Van Eyghen - 2020 - Zygon 55 (1):185-206.
    Multiple authors in cognitive science of religion (CSR) argue that there is something about the human mind that disposes it to form religious beliefs. The dispositions would result from the internal architecture of the mind. In this article, I will argue that this disposition can be explained by various forms of (cultural) learning and not by the internal architecture of the mind. For my argument, I draw on new developments in predictive processing. I argue that CSR theories argue for the (...)
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  32. Transparent Delusion.Vladimir Krstić - 2020 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 11 (1):183-201.
    In this paper, I examine a kind of delusion in which the patients judge that their occurrent thoughts are false and try to abandon them precisely because they are false, but fail to do so. I call this delusion transparent, since it is transparent to the sufferer that their thought is false. In explaining this phenomenon, I defend a particular two-factor theory of delusion that takes the proper integration of relevant reasoning processes as vital for thought-evaluation. On this proposal, which (...)
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  33. Reflections on Knowledge and Belief.Simon Bastian Wimmer - 2019 - Dissertation, University of Warwick
    This thesis defends egalitarianism about knowledge and belief, on which neither is understood in terms of the other, from what I call the abductive argument. This argument is meant to favour views opposed to egalitarianism: doxasticism, on which knowledge is understood in terms of belief, and epistemicism, on which belief is understood in terms of knowledge. The abductive argument turns on the idea that doxasticism and epistemicism, by contrast with egalitarianism, explain certain data about knowledge and belief. I argue, however, (...)
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  34. Presupposing, Believing, Having Faith.Carlos Miguel Gómez Rincón - 2021 - Sophia 60 (1):103-121.
    This paper traces the borders between presupposing, believing, and having faith. These three attitudes are often equated and confused in the contemporary image of the historically and culturally situated character of rationality. This confusion is problematic because, on the one hand, it prevents us from fully appreciating the way in which this image of rationality points towards a dissolving of the opposition between faith and reason; on the other hand, it leads to forms of fideism. After bringing this differentiation into (...)
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  35. Unstable Knowledge, Unstable Belief.Hans Rott - 2019 - Logos and Episteme 10 (4):395-407.
    An idea going back to Plato’s Meno is that knowledge is stable. Recently, a seemingly stronger and more exciting thesis has been advanced, namely that rational belief is stable. I sketch two stability theories of knowledge and rational belief, and present an example intended to show that knowledge need not be stable and rational belief need not be stable either. The second claim does not follow from the first, even if we take knowledge to be a special kind of rational (...)
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  36. Minimal Rationality and the Web of Questions.Daniel Hoek - forthcoming - In Dirk Kindermann, Peter van Elswyk & Andy Egan (eds.), Unstructured Content. Oxford University Press.
    This paper proposes a new account of bounded or minimal doxastic rationality (in the sense of Cherniak 1986), based on the notion that beliefs are answers to questions (à la Yalcin 2018). The core idea is that minimally rational beliefs are linked through thematic connections, rather than entailment relations. Consequently, such beliefs are not deductively closed, but they are closed under parthood (where a part is an entailment that answers a smaller question). And instead of avoiding all inconsistency, minimally rational (...)
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  37. What is Special About De Se Attitudes?Stephan Torre & Clas Weber - forthcoming - In The Routledge Handbook on Linguistic Reference.
    De se attitudes seem to play a special role in action and cognition. This raises a challenge to the traditional way in which mental attitudes have been understood. In this chapter, we review the case for thinking that de se attitudes require special theoretical treatment and discuss various ways in which the traditional theory can be modified to accommodate de se attitudes.
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  38. Presupposing, Believing, Having Faith.Carlos Miguel Gómez Rincón - 2021 - Sophia 60 (1):103-121.
    This paper traces the borders between presupposing, believing, and having faith. These three attitudes are often equated and confused in the contemporary image of the historically and culturally situated character of rationality. This confusion is problematic because, on the one hand, it prevents us from fully appreciating the way in which this image of rationality points towards a dissolving of the opposition between faith and reason; on the other hand, it leads to forms of fideism. After bringing this differentiation into (...)
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  39. Ethics at the Edges of Law: Christian Moralists and American Legal Thought. By Cathleen Kaveny. Pp. Xxi, 299, New York, Oxford University Press, 2018, $35.00/£22.99. Litigating Religions: An Essay on Human Rights, Courts, and Beliefs. By Christopher McCrudden. Pp. Xv, 196, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2018, $65.00. [REVIEW]John R. Williams - 2019 - Heythrop Journal 60 (6):961-963.
  40. Weighing Aims in Doxastic Deliberation.C. J. Atkinson - 2019 - Synthese.
    In this paper, I defend teleological theories of belief against the exclusivity objection. I argue that despite the exclusive influence of truth in doxastic deliberation, multiple epistemic aims interact when we consider what to believe. This is apparent when we focus on the processes involved in specific instances (or concrete cases) of doxastic deliberation, such that the propositions under consideration are specified. First, I out- line a general schema for weighing aims. Second, I discuss recent attempts to defend the teleological (...)
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  41. Ideology, Critique, and Social Structures.Matteo Bianchin - forthcoming - Critical Horizons:1-13.
    On Jaeggi’s reading, the immanent and progressive features of ideology critique are rooted in the connection between its explanatory and its normative tasks. I argue that this claim can be cashed out in terms of the mechanisms involved in a functional explanation of ideology and that stability plays a crucial role in this connection. On this reading, beliefs can be said to be ideological if (a) they have the function of supporting existing social practices, (b) they are the output of (...)
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  42. No Hope in the Dark: Problems for Four-Dimensionalism.Jonathan J. Loose - 2019 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 11 (3):31-47.
    Whether or not it is coherent to place hope in a future life beyond the grave has become a central question in the larger debate about whether a materialist view of human persons can accommodate Christian belief. Hud Hudson defends a four-dimensional account of resurrection in order to avoid persistent difficulties experienced by three-dimensionalist animalism. I present two difficulties unique to Hudson’s view. The first problem of counterpart hope is a manifestation of a general weakness of four-dimensional views to accommodate (...)
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  43. The knowledge of one’s own beliefs: empiricism, rationalism, and rationality.Robson Barcelos - 2017 - Dissertation, Universidade Federal de Santa Maria
    Self-knowledge is the cognitive ability of the agent to know his or her own mental states. There are several types of mental states, and there is a method for the knowledge of each type. The focus of this dissertation is on the knowledge of one‘s own beliefs. With this goal in mind, we present the empiricist and the rationalist approaches to the knowledge of one‘s own beliefs. Empiricist theories of self-knowledge proposes introspection as the method for the knowledge of one‘s (...)
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  44. Review of Knowledge, Belief, and God: New Insights in Religious Epistemology, Edited by Matthew Benton, John Hawthorne, and Dani Rabinowitz: Oxford University Press, 2018, ISBN: 9780198798705, 368pp. [REVIEW]Hans Van Eyghen - 2019 - Sophia 58 (3):539-541.
  45. The Emotional Impact of Evil: Philosophical Reflections on Existential Problems.Nicholas Colgrove - 2019 - Open Theology 5 (1):125-135.
    In The Brothers Karamazov, Dostoyevsky illustrates that encounters with evil do not solely impact agents’ beliefs about God (or God’s existence). Evil impacts people on an emotional level as well. Authors like Hasker and van Inwagen sometimes identify the emotional impact of evil with the “existential” problem of evil. For better or worse, the existential version of the problem is often set aside in contemporary philosophical discussions. In this essay, I rely on Robert Roberts’ account of emotions as “concern-based construals” (...)
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  46. What Does Emotion Teach Us About Self-Deception? Affective Neuroscience in Support of Non-Intentionalism.Federico Lauria & Delphine Preissmann - 2018 - Les Ateliers de l'Éthique / the Ethics Forum 13 (2):70-94.
    Intuitively, affect plays an indispensable role in self-deception’s dynamic. Call this view “affectivism.” Investigating affectivism matters, as affectivists argue that this conception favours the non-intentionalist approach to self-deception and offers a unified account of straight and twisted self-deception. However, this line of argument has not been scrutinized in detail, and there are reasons to doubt it. Does affectivism fulfill its promises of non-intentionalism and unity? We argue that it does, as long as affect’s role in self-deception lies in affective filters—that (...)
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  47. Imagination and Belief: The Microtheories Model of Hypotheical Thinking.J. Davies & J. Bicknell - 2016 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 23 (3-4):31-49.
    Beliefs about hypothetical situations need to be 'quarantined' from factual representations, so that our inference processes do not make false conclusions about the real world. Nichols argued for the existence of a place where these special beliefs are kept: the pretence box. We show that this theory has a number of drawbacks, including its inability to account for simultaneously keeping track of multiple imagined worlds. We offer an explanation that remedies these problems: beliefs of content imagination each belong to some (...)
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  48. The Problem with 3-Year-Olds.S. Gallagher - 2015 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 22 (1-2):160-182.
    I review a variety of theories that attempt to explain how young infants are able to pass spontaneous false belief tests, and then ask whether any of these approaches can explain the 3-year-olds' failure on standard, elicited FB tests. I argue that some of these approaches fail to provide adequate explanations, and I defend an embodied enactive approach that I think does a better job. The primary reason 3-year-olds fail at the elicited FB tests is not due to language problems, (...)
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  49. The Neurobiological Building Blocks of the Flase-Belief Task: Comment on Gallagher's 'The Problem with 3-Year-Olds'.S. Ioannous - 2015 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 22 (1-2):183-186.
  50. False-Belief Tests and Understanding Others: Comment on Gallagher's 'The Problem with 3-Year-Olds'.A. Montes Sanchez - 2015 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 22 (1-2):187-190.
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