Belief as emotion

Philosophical Issues 32 (1):104-119 (2022)
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It is commonly held that (i) beliefs are revisable in the face of counter-evidence and (ii) beliefs are connected to actions in reliable and predictable ways. Given such a view, many argue that if a mental state fails to respond to evidence or doesn't result in the kind of behavior typical or expected of belief, it is not a belief after all, but a different state. Yet, one finds seeming counter examples of resilient beliefs that fail to respond to evidence, or that do not connect to action in the way that is expected. I offer a view of belief that does not force us to exclude states as real beliefs that we pre-reflectively think of as beliefs, and that does not require us to “outsource” the work belief seems to do to other mental states. I propose that we view belief as a type of emotion where emotions are understood a irreducibly blended states, containing representational, motivational and phenomenological elements.



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Emotions, Values, and Agency.Christine Tappolet - 2016 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Alief and Belief.Tamar Szabó Gendler - 2008 - Journal of Philosophy 105 (10):634-663.
On the aim of belief.David Velleman - 2000 - In The Possibility of Practical Reason. Oxford University Press. pp. 244--81.
Deciding to trust, coming to believe.Richard Holton - 1994 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 72 (1):63 – 76.

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