Believing and Accepting

Believing and Accepting

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(1) Beliefs are involuntary, and not nonnally subject to direct voluntary control. For instance I cannot believe at will that my trousers are on fire, or that the Dalai Lama is a living God, even if you pay me a large amount of money for believing such things. (2) Beliefs are nonnally shaped by evidence for what is believed, unless they are, in some sense, irrational. In general a belief is rational if it is proportioned to the degree of evidence that one has for its truth. In this sense, one often says that "beliefs aim at truth" . This is why it is, on the face of it, irrational to believe against the evidence that one has. A subject whose beliefs are not shaped by a concern for their truth, but by what she wants to be the case, is more or less a wishful thinker or a self-deceiver. (3) Beliefs are context independent, in the sense that at one time a subject believes something or does not believe it; she does not believe it relative to one context and not relative to another. For instance if I believe that Paris is a polluted city, I cannot believe that on Monday and not on Tuesday; that would be a change of belief, or a change of mind, but not a case of believing one thing in one context and another thing in another context. If I believe something, the belief is more or 4 less pennanent across various contexts.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 302 pages
  • 155 x 235 x 19.05mm | 1,360g
  • Dordrecht, Netherlands
  • English
  • 2000 ed.
  • V, 302 p.
  • 0792362381
  • 9780792362388

Table of contents

Introduction: the Varieties of Belief and Acceptance; P. Engel. The Possibility of Acceptance Without Belief; D. Clarke. Why Acceptance that P Does Not Entail Belief that P; J. Cohen. Moore's Paradox; L. Goldstein. On Moore's Paradox; R. Stalnaker. On Wanting to Believe; M. Losonsky. Choosing to Intend, Wanting to Believe; J.-P. Dupuy. Transformations of Belief; R. Jeffrey. Belief and Acceptance: A Logical Point of View; J. Dubucs. Scientific Objectivity and the Aims of Belief; P. Railton. Belief and Acceptance Revisited; K. Lehrer. Commitments Defined with the Help of Public Concepts; A. Woodfield. Concepts, Beliefs and Metarepresentations; D. Sperber. The Simulation of Belief; F. Recanati.
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