Simone Gozzano

Beliefs as Mental States: Steps Toward a Dispositional Approach

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Belief; Disposition; Intentionality; Language; Thought.

Belief is an epistemic state often contrasted with other epistemic states. The contrast varies depending on the kind of states one is interested in. If the relation with language is at stake, beliefs are compared with sub-doxastic states, implicit beliefs, dispositional beliefs or proto-thoughts. If the relation with certainty is at stake, we have credences, assents or opinions. After reviewing these concepts and the related theories, I argue that we need a multi-faceted and dispositional view of beliefs, one that incorporates four different parameters, as I call them. These are the degree of inferential integration, consciousness of its content, the order of the belief and its degree of certainty. All these parameters have been used by one author or the other, but none has used them all. However, they are compatible with each other and make a satisfactory explanatory and a metaphysically sound set.

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