Manuscrito 25 (2):313-35 (2002)

We often use the same word “belief” to refer to two different cognitive attitudes. Both of them are dispositions to behave in the same way, but one of these dispositions is involuntary and context independent , while the other one is voluntary and context dependent . Belief, like perception, is the result of the automatic workings of our biological cognitive apparatus. Acceptance is the result of a decision, which can be guided by a variety of goals. Acceptance can be accompanied by belief, but need not, and very often is not. Acceptance, not belief, is the fundamental disposition in such varied fields as therapy, the law and science. And acceptance, not belief, is the proper object of a theory of rationality
Keywords Acceptance  Belief  Decision  Epistemology  Rationality  Descartes  Hume
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