The Factual Belief Fallacy

Contemporary Pragmatism (eds. T. Coleman & J. Jong):319-343 (2018)
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Abstract

This paper explains a fallacy that often arises in theorizing about human minds. I call it the Factual Belief Fallacy. The Fallacy, roughly, involves drawing conclusions about human psychology that improperly ignore the large backgrounds of mostly accurate factual beliefs people have. The Factual Belief Fallacy has led to significant mistakes in both philosophy of mind and cognitive science of religion. Avoiding it helps us better see the difference between factual belief and religious credence; seeing that difference in turn enables us to pose interesting normative questions about various mental states labeled “belief.”

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Author's Profile

Neil Van Leeuwen
Georgia State University

References found in this work

The Varieties of Reference.Gareth Evans - 1982 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Aspects of the Theory of Syntax.Noam Chomsky - 1965 - Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press.
The Varieties of Reference.Louise M. Antony - 1987 - Philosophical Review 96 (2):275.

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