Assertion, Belief, and Context

Synthese 195 (11):4951-4977 (2018)
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Abstract

This paper argues for a treatment of belief as essentially sensitive to certain features of context. The first part gives an argument that we must take belief to be context-sensitive in the same way that assertion is, if we are to preserve appealing principles tying belief to sincere assertion. In particular, whether an agent counts as believing that p in a context depends on the space of alternative possibilities the agent is considering in that context. One and the same doxastic state may amount to belief that p in one context but not another. The second part of the paper gives a formal treatment of doxastic states, according to which belief is context-sensitive along just these lines. The model is applied to characterize (but not to refute) skeptical arguments.

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Roger Clarke
Queen's University, Belfast

Citations of this work

Lockeans Maximize Expected Accuracy.Kevin Dorst - 2019 - Mind 128 (509):175-211.
Assertion is weak.Matthew Mandelkern & Kevin Dorst - 2022 - Philosophers' Imprint 22.
Belief Is Credence One (in Context).Roger Clarke - 2013 - Philosophers' Imprint 13:1-18.
Strong Belief is Ordinary.Roger Clarke - forthcoming - Episteme:1-21.
Degrees of Acceptance.Alexander Dinges - 2022 - Philosophical Quarterly (3):578-594.

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References found in this work

Speech Acts: An Essay in the Philosophy of Language.John Rogers Searle - 1969 - Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.
Knowledge in an uncertain world.Jeremy Fantl & Matthew McGrath - 2009 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by Matthew McGrath.
Belief, Credence, and Pragmatic Encroachment.Jacob Ross & Mark Schroeder - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (2):259-288.

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