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An Essay on Belief and Acceptance

New York: Clarendon Press (1992)

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  1. Faith and Doubt at the Cry of Dereliction: A Defense of Doxasticism.Joshua Mugg - 2022 - Sophia 61 (2):253-265.
    Doxasticism is the view that propositional faith that p entails belief that p. This view has recently come under fire within analytic philosophy of religion. One common objection is that faith is compatible with doubt in a way that belief is not. One version of this objection, recently employed by Beth Rath, is to use a particular story, in this case Jesus Christ’s cry of dereliction, to argue that someone had propositional faith while ceasing to believe. Thus, doxasticism is false. (...)
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  • How Would You Answer This Question? Can Dispositional Analyses of Belief Account for First-Person Authority?Nicole Rathgeb - 2022 - Philosophical Explorations 25 (2):204-219.
    In the last decade, various analyses of beliefs in terms of dispositions have been advanced. One principled objection against dispositional accounts of belief is that they cannot accommodate first-...
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  • Trust in the Guise of Belief.Anthony Robert Booth - 2018 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 26 (2):156-172.
    What kind of mental state is trust? It seems to have features that can lead one to think that it is a doxastic state but also features that can lead one to think that it is a non-doxastic state. This has even lead some philosophers to think that trust is a unique mental state that has both mind-to-world and world-to-mind direction of fit, or to give up on the idea that there is a univocal analysis of trust to be had. (...)
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  • Choosing and Refusing: Doxastic Voluntarism and Folk Psychology.John Turri, David Rose & Wesley Buckwalter - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (10):2507-2537.
    A standard view in contemporary philosophy is that belief is involuntary, either as a matter of conceptual necessity or as a contingent fact of human psychology. We present seven experiments on patterns in ordinary folk-psychological judgments about belief. The results provide strong evidence that voluntary belief is conceptually possible and, granted minimal charitable assumptions about folk-psychological competence, provide some evidence that voluntary belief is psychologically possible. We also consider two hypotheses in an attempt to understand why many philosophers have been (...)
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  • Perception and Imagination.Uriah Kriegel - 2015 - In S. Miguens, G. Preyer & C. Bravo Morando (eds.), Prereflective Consciousness: Sartre and Contemporary Philosophy of Mind. Routledge. pp. 245-276.
    According to a traditional view, there is no categorical difference between the phenomenology of perception and the phenomenology of imagination; the only difference is in degree (of intensity, resolution, etc.) and/or in accompanying beliefs. There is no categorical difference between what it is like to perceive a dog and what it is like to imagine a dog; the former is simply more vivid and/or is accompanied by the belief that a dog is really there. A sustained argument against this traditional (...)
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  • Thinking is Believing.Eric Mandelbaum - 2014 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 57 (1):55-96.
  • Prueba legítima y verdad en el proceso penal II: la dependencia epistémica de la prueba.Gabriel Pérez Barberá - 2020 - Isonomía. Revista de Teoría y Filosofía Del Derecho 52:31-62.
    En el presente trabajo intento demostrar que existe una relación de necesidad epistémica entre prueba y verdad. Esto quiere decir que no es posible, en el proceso, ni creer justificadamente ni aceptar que está probado que p si, por información pública pero extraprocesal, el juez sabe que p es falso. Con todo, ello es así bajo ciertas condiciones, a saber: en primer lugar, que se trate de un proceso penal legítimo en términos de Estado de derecho; y en segundo lugar, (...)
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  • Why Believe the Truth? Shah and Velleman on the Aim of Belief.José L. Zalabardo - 2010 - Philosophical Explorations 13 (1):1 - 21.
    The subject matter of this paper is the view that it is correct, in an absolute sense, to believe a proposition just in case the proposition is true. I take issue with arguments in support of this view put forward by Nishi Shah and David Velleman.
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  • Acting Upon Uncertain Beliefs.Miloud Belkoniene & Patryk Dziurosz-Serafinowicz - 2020 - Acta Analytica 35 (2):253-271.
    This paper discusses the conditions under which an agent is rationally permitted to leave some uncertain propositions relevant to her decision out of her deliberation. By relying on the view that belief involves a defeasible disposition to treat a proposition as true in one’s reasoning, we examine the conditions under which such a disposition can be overridden and under which an agent should take into account her uncertainty as to a proposition she believes in the course of a particular deliberation. (...)
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  • Presumption as a Modal Qualifier: Presumption, Inference, and Managing Epistemic Risk.David Godden - 2017 - Argumentation 31 (3):485-511.
    Standards and norms for reasoning function, in part, to manage epistemic risk. Properly used, modal qualifiers like presumably have a role in systematically managing epistemic risk by flagging and tracking type-specific epistemic merits and risks of the claims they modify. Yet, argumentation-theoretic accounts of presumption often define it in terms of modalities of other kinds, thereby failing to recognize the unique risk profile of each. This paper offers a stipulative account of presumption, inspired by Ullmann-Margalit, as an inferentially generated modal (...)
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  • Introduction: Cognitive Attitudes and Values in Science.Daniel J. McKaughan & Kevin C. Elliott - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 53:57-61.
  • (Mis)Understanding Scientific Disagreement: Success Versus Pursuit-Worthiness in Theory Choice.Eli I. Lichtenstein - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 85:166-175.
    Scientists often diverge widely when choosing between research programs. This can seem to be rooted in disagreements about which of several theories, competing to address shared questions or phenomena, is currently the most epistemically or explanatorily valuable—i.e. most successful. But many such cases are actually more directly rooted in differing judgments of pursuit-worthiness, concerning which theory will be best down the line, or which addresses the most significant data or questions. Using case studies from 16th-century astronomy and 20th-century geology and (...)
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  • The Importance of Belief in Argumentation: Belief, Commitment and the Effective Resolution of a Difference of Opinion.David M. Godden - 2010 - Synthese 172 (3):397-414.
    This paper examines the adequacy of commitment change, as a measure of the successful resolution of a difference of opinion. I argue that differences of opinion are only effectively resolved if commitments undertaken in argumentation survive beyond its conclusion and go on to govern an arguer’s actions in everyday life, e.g., by serving as premises in her practical reasoning. Yet this occurs, I maintain, only when an arguer’s beliefs are changed, not merely her commitments.
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  • Reconstructed Empiricism.Finnur Dellsén - 2017 - Acta Analytica 32 (1):95-113.
    According to Bas van Fraassen, scientific realists and anti-realists disagree about whether accepting a scientific theory involves believing that the theory is true. On van Fraassen’s own anti-realist empiricist position, accepting a theory involves believing only that the theory is correct in its claims about observable aspects of the world. However, a number of philosophers have argued that acceptance and belief cannot be distinguished and thus that the debate is either confused or trivially settled in favor of the realist. In (...)
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  • What is the Normative Role of Logic?Peter Milne - 2009 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 83 (1):269-298.
    In making assertions one takes on commitments to the consistency of what one asserts and to the logical consequences of what one asserts. Although there is no quick link between belief and assertion, the dialectical requirements on assertion feed back into normative constraints on those beliefs that constitute one's evidence. But if we are not certain of many of our beliefs and that uncertainty is modelled in terms of probabilities, then there is at least prima facie incoherence between the normative (...)
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  • Degrees of Acceptance.Alexander Dinges - 2022 - Philosophical Quarterly (3):578-594.
    While many authors distinguish belief from acceptance, it seems almost universally agreed that no similar distinction can be drawn between degrees of belief, or credences, and degrees of acceptance. I challenge this assumption in this paper. Acceptance comes in degrees and acknowledging this helps to resolve problems in at least two philosophical domains. Degrees of acceptance play vital roles when we simplify our reasoning, and they ground the common ground of a conversation if we assume context probabilism, i.e., that the (...)
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  • Belief Through Thick and Thin.Wesley Buckwalter, David Rose & John Turri - 2015 - Noûs 49 (4):748-775.
    We distinguish between two categories of belief—thin belief and thick belief—and provide evidence that they approximate genuinely distinct categories within folk psychology. We use the distinction to make informative predictions about how laypeople view the relationship between knowledge and belief. More specifically, we show that if the distinction is genuine, then we can make sense of otherwise extremely puzzling recent experimental findings on the entailment thesis (i.e. the widely held philosophical thesis that knowledge entails belief). We also suggest that the (...)
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  • The Nature of Desire.Federico Lauria & Julien A. Deonna (eds.) - 2017 - New York, USA: Oxford University Press.
    Desires matter. What are desires? Many believe that desire is a motivational state: desiring is being disposed to act. This conception aligns with the functionalist approach to desire and the standard account of desire's role in explaining action. According to a second influential approach, however, desire is first and foremost an evaluation: desiring is representing something as good. After all, we seem to desire things under the guise of the good. Which understanding of desire is more accurate? Is the guise (...)
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  • Values and Evidence: How Models Make a Difference.Wendy S. Parker & Eric Winsberg - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 8 (1):125-142.
    We call attention to an underappreciated way in which non-epistemic values influence evidence evaluation in science. Our argument draws upon some well-known features of scientific modeling. We show that, when scientific models stand in for background knowledge in Bayesian and other probabilistic methods for evidence evaluation, conclusions can be influenced by the non-epistemic values that shaped the setting of priorities in model development. Moreover, it is often infeasible to correct for this influence. We further suggest that, while this value influence (...)
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  • G. F. Stout and the Psychological Origins of Analytic Philosophy.Maria Sandra Van der Schaar - 2013 - London, England: Palgrave McMillan.
    This book shows that Stout's ideas have played a role in Moore and Russell's development from their early idealism towards analytic realism, where Stout's ideas often find their origin in early phenomenology.
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  • Psychologism and the Development of Russell's Account of Propositions.David M. Godden & Nicholas Griffin - 2009 - History and Philosophy of Logic 30 (2):171-186.
    This article examines the development of Russell's treatment of propositions, in relation to the topic of psychologism. In the first section, we outline the concept of psychologism, and show how it can arise in relation to theories of the nature of propositions. Following this, we note the anti-psychologistic elements of Russell's thought dating back to his idealist roots. From there, we sketch the development of Russell's theory of the proposition through a number of its key transitions. We show that Russell, (...)
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  • Counterfactuals and Scientific Realism.Michael J. Shaffer - 2012 - London and Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan.
    This book is a sustained defense of the compatibility of the presence of idealizations in the sciences and scientific realism. So, the book is essentially a detailed response to the infamous arguments raised by Nancy Cartwright to the effect that idealization and scientific realism are incompatible.
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  • Truth in Fiction.Franck Lihoreau (ed.) - 2011 - Ontos Verlag.
    The essays collected in this volume are all concerned with the connection between fiction and truth. This question is of utmost importance to metaphysics, philosophy of language, philosophical logic and epistemology, raising in each of these areas and at their intersections a large number of issues related to creation, existence, reference, identity, modality, belief, assertion, imagination, pretense, etc. All these topics and many more are addressed in this collection, which brings together original essays written from various points of view by (...)
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  • Presumptions in Argument: Epistemic Versus Social Approaches.David Godden & Harvey Siegel - unknown
    This paper responds to Kauffeld’s 2009 OSSA paper, considering the adequacy of his “commitment-based” approach to “ordinary presumptive practices” to sup-ply an account of presumption fit for general application in normative theories of argument. The central issue here is whether socially-grounded presumptions are defeasible in the right sorts of ways so as to pro-duce “truth-tropic” presumptive inferences.
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  • Collective (Telic) Virtue Epistemology.J. Adam Carter - 2020 - In Mark Alfano, Jeroen de Ridder & Colin Klein (eds.), Social Virtue Epistemology. London: Routledge.
    A new way to transpose the virtue epistemologist’s ‘knowledge = apt belief’ template to the collective level, as a thesis about group knowledge, is developed. In particular, it is shown how specifically judgmental belief can be realised at the collective level in a way that is structurally analogous, on a telic theory of epistemic normativity (e.g., Sosa 2020), to how it is realised at the individual level—viz., through a (collective) intentional attempt to get it right aptly (whether p) by alethically (...)
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  • Reflective Knowledge and the Nature of Truth.José L. Zalabardo - 2016 - Disputatio 8 (43):147-171.
    I consider the problem of reflective knowledge faced by views that treat sensitivity as a sufficient condition for knowledge, or as a major ingredient of the concept, as in the analysis I advance in Scepticism and Reliable Belief. I present the problem as concerning the correct analysis of SATs — beliefs to the effect that one of my current beliefs is true. I suggest that a plausible analysis of SATs should treat them as neither true nor false when they ascribe (...)
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  • Argument, Inference and Dialectic: Collected Papers on Informal Logic.Robert Pinto - 2001 - Dordrecht, Netherland: Springer.
    This volume contains 12 papers addressed to researchers and advanced students in informal logic and related fields, such as argumentation, formal logic, and communications. Among the issues discussed are attempts to rethink the nature of argument and of inference, the role of dialectical context, and the standards for evaluating inferences, and to shed light on the interfaces between informal logic and argumentation theory, rhetoric, formal logic and cognitive psychology.
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  • Stability and Scepticism in the Modelling of Doxastic States: Probabilities and Plain Beliefs.Hans Rott - 2017 - Minds and Machines 27 (1):167-197.
    There are two prominent ways of formally modelling human belief. One is in terms of plain beliefs, i.e., sets of propositions. The second one is in terms of degrees of beliefs, which are commonly taken to be representable by subjective probability functions. In relating these two ways of modelling human belief, the most natural idea is a thesis frequently attributed to John Locke: a proposition is or ought to be believed just in case its subjective probability exceeds a contextually fixed (...)
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  • Qualitative Interviewing as Measurement.John Paley - 2010 - Nursing Philosophy 11 (2):112-126.
    The attribution of beliefs and other propositional attitudes is best understood as a form of measurement, however counter-intuitive this may seem. Measurement theory does not require that the thing measured should be a magnitude, or that the calibration of the measuring instrument should be numerical. It only requires a homomorphism between the represented domain and the representing domain. On this basis, maps measure parts of the world, usually geographical locations, and 'belief' statements measure other parts of the world, namely people's (...)
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  • The Epistemic Benefits of Diversifying the Philosophy of Religion.Kirk Lougheed - 2022 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 14 (1):77-94.
    There have been recent calls to expand contemporary analytic philosophy of religion beyond the oft implicitly assumed Christian tradition. Instead of exploring moral reasons to expand the discipline, I argue that there are strong epistemic reasons to favour diversifying the philosophy of religion. Increasing diversity is likely to increase disagreement, and there are epistemic benefits to be gained from the existence of disagreement. I argue that such considerations quite clearly apply to the philosophy of religion, and as such that there (...)
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  • Rethinking Religious Epistemology.Amber L. Griffioen - 2022 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 14 (1):21-47.
    This article uses recent work in philosophy of science and social epistemology to argue for a shift in analytic philosophy of religion from a knowledge-centric epistemology to an epistemology centered on understanding. Not only can an understanding-centered approach open up new avenues for the exploration of largely neglected aspects of the religious life, it can also shed light on how religious participation might be epistemically valuable in ways that knowledge-centered approaches fail to capture. Further, it can create new opportunities for (...)
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  • Is Epistemic Agency Possible?Pascal Engel - 2013 - Philosophical Issues 23 (1):158-178.
    There are mental actions, and a number of epistemic attitudes involve activity. But can there be epistemic agency? I argue that there is a limit to any claim that we can be epistemic agents, which is that the structure of reasons for epistemic attitudes differs fundamentally from the structure of reasons for actions. The main differences are that we cannot act for the wrong reasons although we can believe for the wrong reasons, and that reasons for beliefs are exclusive in (...)
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  • The Epistemic Value of Expert Autonomy.Finnur Dellsén - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research (2):344-361.
    According to an influential Enlightenment ideal, one shouldn't rely epistemically on other people's say-so, at least not if one is in a position to evaluate the relevant evidence for oneself. However, in much recent work in social epistemology, we are urged to dispense with this ideal, which is seen as stemming from a misguided focus on isolated individuals to the exclusion of groups and communities. In this paper, I argue that that an emphasis on the social nature of inquiry should (...)
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  • Collective Guilt Feeling Revisited.Anita Konzelmann Ziv - 2007 - Dialectica 61 (3):467-493.
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  • Delusions, Acceptances, and Cognitive Feelings.Richard Dub - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 94 (1):27-60.
    Psychopathological delusions have a number of features that are curiously difficult to explain. Delusions are resistant to counterevidence and impervious to counterargument. Delusions are theoretically, affectively, and behaviorally circumscribed: delusional individuals often do not act on their delusions and often do not update beliefs on the basis of their delusions. Delusional individuals are occasionally able to distinguish their delusions from other beliefs, sometimes speaking of their “delusional reality.” To explain these features, I offer a model according to which, contrary to (...)
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  • A Gate‐Based Account of Intentions.Stéphane Lemaire - 2012 - Dialectica 66 (1):45-67.
    In this paper, I propose a reductive account of intentions which I call a gate-based reductive account. In contrast with other reductive accounts, however, the reductive basis of this account is not limited to desires, beliefs and judgments. I suggest that an intention is a complex state in which a predominant desire toward a plan is not inhibited by a gate mechanism whose function is to assess the comparison of our desires given the stakes at hand. To vindicate this account, (...)
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  • Collective Scientific Knowledge.Melinda Fagan - 2012 - Philosophy Compass 7 (12):821-831.
    Philosophical debates about collective scientific knowledge concern two distinct theses: groups are necessary to produce scientific knowledge, and groups have scientific knowledge in their own right. Thesis has strong support. Groups are required, in many cases of scientific inquiry, to satisfy methodological norms, to develop theoretical concepts, or to validate the results of inquiry as scientific knowledge. So scientific knowledge‐production is collective in at least three respects. However, support for is more equivocal. Though some examples suggest that groups have scientific (...)
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  • Disagreement in Philosophy.Catherine Z. Elgin - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-16.
    Recent philosophical discussions construe disagreement as epistemically unsettling. On learning that a peer disagrees, it is said, you should suspend judgment, lower your credence, or dismiss your peer’s conviction as somehow flawed, even if you can neither identify the flaw nor explain why you think she is the party in error. Philosophers do none of these things. A distinctive feature of philosophy as currently practiced is that, although we marshal the strongest arguments we can devise, we do not expect others (...)
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  • Desiderata for Rational, Non-Doxastic Faith.Carl-Johan Palmqvist - forthcoming - Sophia:1-21.
    According to an increasingly popular view known as non-doxasticism, religious faith need not include belief, but only some cognitively weaker attitude. This view comes with great promises, as it offers a way for the agnostic to partake in religion. My concern is how such a non-doxastic faith might be understood as a rational attitude. I offer three desiderata for any account of rational, non-doxastic faith. These desiderata are based on general considerations regarding epistemic rationality and on major themes from current (...)
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  • How Can Belief Be Akratic?Eugene Chislenko - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):13925-13948.
    Akratic belief, or belief one believes one should not have, has often been thought to be impossible. I argue that the possibility of akratic belief should be accepted as a pre-theoretical datum. I distinguish intuitive, defensive, systematic, and diagnostic ways of arguing for this view, and offer an argument that combines them. After offering intuitive examples of akratic belief, I defend those examples against a common argument against the possibility of akratic belief, which I call the Nullification Argument. I then (...)
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  • Knowing That P Without Believing That P.Blake Myers-Schulz & Eric Schwitzgebel - 2013 - Noûs 47 (2):371-384.
    Most epistemologists hold that knowledge entails belief. However, proponents of this claim rarely offer a positive argument in support of it. Rather, they tend to treat the view as obvious and assert that there are no convincing counterexamples. We find this strategy to be problematic. We do not find the standard view obvious, and moreover, we think there are cases in which it is intuitively plausible that a subject knows some proposition P without—or at least without determinately—believing that P. Accordingly, (...)
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  • Believe and Confess: Revisiting Christian Doxastic Intentionality.Nathan D. Shannon - 2013 - Heythrop Journal 54 (2):n/a-n/a.
  • Do the Self-Deceived Get What They Want?Eric Funkhouser - 2005 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 86 (3):295-312.
    Two of the most basic questions regarding self-deception remain unsettled: What do self-deceivers want? What do self-deceivers get? I argue that self-deceivers are motivated by a desire to believe. However, in significant contrast with Alfred Mele’s account of self-deception, I argue that self-deceivers do not satisfy this desire. Instead, the end-state of self-deception is a false higher-order belief. This shows all self-deception to be a failure of self-knowledge.
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  • Towards a New Feeling Theory of Emotion.Uriah Kriegel - 2014 - European Journal of Philosophy 22 (3):420-442.
    According to the old feeling theory of emotion, an emotion is just a feeling: a conscious experience with a characteristic phenomenal character. This theory is widely dismissed in contemporary discussions of emotion as hopelessly naïve. In particular, it is thought to suffer from two fatal drawbacks: its inability to account for the cognitive dimension of emotion (which is thought to go beyond the phenomenal dimension), and its inability to accommodate unconscious emotions (which, of course, lack any phenomenal character). In this (...)
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  • Non-Measurability, Imprecise Credences, and Imprecise Chances.Yoaav Isaacs, Alan Hájek & John Hawthorne - forthcoming - Mind:fzab031.
    We offer a new motivation for imprecise probabilities. We argue that there are propositions to which precise probability cannot be assigned, but to which imprecise probability can be assigned. In such cases the alternative to imprecise probability is not precise probability, but no probability at all. And an imprecise probability is substantially better than no probability at all. Our argument is based on the mathematical phenomenon of non-measurable sets. Non-measurable propositions cannot receive precise probabilities, but there is a natural way (...)
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  • When is Consensus Knowledge Based? Distinguishing Shared Knowledge From Mere Agreement.Boaz Miller - 2013 - Synthese 190 (7):1293-1316.
    Scientific consensus is widely deferred to in public debates as a social indicator of the existence of knowledge. However, it is far from clear that such deference to consensus is always justified. The existence of agreement in a community of researchers is a contingent fact, and researchers may reach a consensus for all kinds of reasons, such as fighting a common foe or sharing a common bias. Scientific consensus, by itself, does not necessarily indicate the existence of shared knowledge among (...)
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  • Inquiry Tickets: Values, Pursuit, and Underdetermination.Marina DiMarco & Kareem Khalifa - 2019 - Philosophy of Science 86 (5):1016-1028.
    We offer a new account of the role of values in theory choice that captures a temporal dimension to the values themselves. We argue that non-epistemic values sometimes serve as “inquiry tickets,” justifying scientists’ pursuit of certain questions in the short run, while the answers to those questions mitigate transient underdetermination in the long run. Our account of inquiry tickets shows that the role of non-epistemic values need not be restricted to belief or acceptance in order to be relevant to (...)
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  • Scientific Discovery From the Perspective of Hypothesis Acceptance.Eric Martin & Daniel Osherson - 2002 - Philosophy of Science 69 (S3):S331-S341.
    A model of inductive inquiry is defined within the context of first‐order logic. The model conceives of inquiry as a game between Nature and a scientist. To begin the game, a nonlogical vocabulary is agreed upon by the two players, along with a partition of a class of countable structures for that vocabulary. Next, Nature secretly chooses one structure from some cell of the partition. She then presents the scientist with a sequence of facts about the chosen structure. With each (...)
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  • If You Can't Change What You Believe, You Don't Believe It.Grace Helton - 2020 - Noûs 54 (3):501-526.
    I develop and defend the view that subjects are necessarily psychologically able to revise their beliefs in response to relevant counter-evidence. Specifically, subjects can revise their beliefs in response to relevant counter-evidence, given their current psychological mechanisms and skills. If a subject lacks this ability, then the mental state in question is not a belief, though it may be some other kind of cognitive attitude, such as a supposi-tion, an entertained thought, or a pretense. The result is a moderately revisionary (...)
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  • Belief, Information and Reasoning.Bruno Whittle - 2012 - Philosophical Perspectives 26 (1):431-446.
    Here are two plausible ideas about belief. First: beliefs are our means of storing information. Second: if we believe something, then we are willing to use it in reasoning. But in this paper I introduce a puzzle that seems to show that these cannot both be right. The solution, I argue, is a new picture, on which there is a kind of belief for each idea. An account of these two kinds of belief is offered in terms of two components: (...)
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