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Belief is the psychological state in which an individual holds a proposition or premise (argument) to be true without necessarily being able to adequately prove their main contention to other people who may or may not agree. Look up belief, believe, believer in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... A related article is titled uncertainty. ... This article is about the philosophical position. ... Agnosticism (from the Greek a, meaning without, and gnosticism or gnosis, meaning knowledge) is the philosophical view that the truth value of certain claims—particularly metaphysical claims regarding theology, afterlife or the existence of God, gods, deities, or even ultimate reality—is unknown or, depending on the form of agnosticism... “Uncertain” redirects here. ... Theory of justification is a part of epistemology that attempts to understand the justification of statements and beliefs. ... Probability is the likelihood that something is the case or will happen. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with estimation. ... A related article is titled uncertainty. ... Determinism is the philosophical proposition that every event, including human cognition and behavior, decision and action, is causally determined by an unbroken chain of prior occurrences. ... For the physics theory with a similar name, see Theory of Relativity. ... Solipsism (Latin: solus, alone + ipse, self) is the philosophical idea that My mind is the only thing that I know exists. Solipsism is an epistemological or metaphysical position that knowledge of anything outside the mind is unjustified. ... This article is about the word proposition as it is used in logic, philosophy, and linguistics. ... In discourse, a premise (also premiss in British usage) is a claim which is part of a reason or objection. ... In both formal and informal logic, a main contention is a thought which is capable of being either true or false and is usually the most controversial proposition being argued for. ...

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Belief, knowledge and epistemology

The relationship between belief and knowledge is subtle. Believers in a claim typically say that they know that claim. For instance, those who believe that the Sun is a god will report that they know the Sun is a god. However, the terms belief and knowledge are used differently by philosophers. A solar deity is a deity who represents the Sun. ...


Epistemology is the philosophical study of knowledge and belief. A primary problem for epistemology is exactly what is needed in order for us to have knowledge. In a notion derived from Plato's dialogue Theaetetus, philosophy has traditionally defined knowledge as justified true belief. The relationship between belief and knowledge is that a belief is knowledge if the belief is true, and if the believer has a justification (a good reason) for believing it is true. Theory of knowledge redirects here: for other uses, see theory of knowledge (disambiguation) According to Plato, knowledge is a subset of that which is both true and believed Epistemology or theory of knowledge is the branch of philosophy that studies the nature, methods, limitations, and validity of knowledge and belief. ... Theory of knowledge redirects here: for other uses, see theory of knowledge (disambiguation) According to Plato, knowledge is a subset of that which is both true and believed Epistemology or theory of knowledge is the branch of philosophy that studies the nature, methods, limitations, and validity of knowledge and belief. ... For other uses, see Plato (disambiguation). ... The Theætetus (Θεαίτητος) is one of Platos dialogues concerning the nature of knowledge. ...


A false belief is not considered to be knowledge, even if it is sincere. A sincere believer in the flat earth theory does not know that the Earth is flat. Similarly, a truth that nobody believes is not knowledge, because in order to be knowledge, there must be some person who knows it. The flat Earth theory is the idea that Earth is flat, as opposed to the view of modern science that Earth is very nearly spherical (see Spherical Earth). ...


Later epistemologists have questioned the "justified true belief" definition, and some philosophers have questioned whether "belief" is a useful notion at all.


Belief as a psychological theory

Mainstream psychology and related disciplines have traditionally treated belief as if it were the simplest form of mental representation and therefore one of the building blocks of conscious thought. Philosophers have tended to be more rigorous in their analysis and much of the work examining the viability of the belief concept stems from philosophical analysis. Image File history File links Ambox_emblem_question. ... Psychological science redirects here. ...


The concept of belief presumes a subject (the believer) and an object of belief (the proposition) so like other propositional attitudes, belief implies the existence of mental states and intentionality, both of which are hotly debated topics in the philosophy of mind and whose foundations and relation to brain states are still controversial. A propositional attitude is a relational mental state connecting a person to a proposition. ... Intentionality, originally a concept from scholastic philosophy, was reintroduced in contemporary philosophy by the philosopher and psychologist Franz Brentano in his work Psychologie vom Empirischen Standpunkte. ... A phrenological mapping of the brain. ...


Beliefs are sometimes divided into core beliefs (those which you may be actively thinking about) and dispositional beliefs (those which you may ascribe to but have never previously thought about). For example, if asked 'do you believe tigers wear pink pyjamas ?' a person might answer that they do not, despite the fact they may never have thought about this situation before.[1] In philosophy, the term dispositional belief refers to a belief that is not currently being considered by the mind, but is stored in memory of other concepts and will be recalled to conclude in occurrent belief. ...


The idea that a belief is a mental state is much more contentious. While some philosophers have argued that beliefs are represented in the mind as sentence-like constructs others have gone as far as arguing that there is no consistent or coherent mental representation that underlies our common use of the belief concept and is therefore obsolete and should be rejected. A philosopher is a person who thinks deeply regarding people, society, the world, and/or the universe. ...


This has important implications for understanding the neuropsychology and neuroscience of belief. If the concept of belief is incoherent or ultimately indefensible then any attempt to find the underlying neural processes which support it will fail. If the concept of belief does turn out to be useful then this goal should (in principle) be achievable. Neuropsychology is a branch of psychology and neurology that aims to understand how the structure and function of the brain relate to specific psychological processes and overt behaviors. ... Drawing of the cells in the chicken cerebellum by S. Ramón y Cajal Neuroscience is a field that is devoted to the scientific study of the nervous system. ...


Philosopher Lynne Rudder Baker has outlined four main contemporary approaches to belief in her book Saving Belief:

  • Our common-sense understanding of belief is correct - Sometimes called the ‘mental sentence theory’, in this conception, beliefs exist as coherent entities and the way we talk about them in everyday life is a valid basis for scientific endeavour. Jerry Fodor is one of the principal defenders of this point of view.
  • Our common-sense understanding of belief may not be entirely correct, but it is close enough to make some useful predictions - This view argues that we will eventually reject the idea of belief as we use it now, but that there may be a correlation between what we take to be a belief when someone says 'I believe that snow is white' and however a future theory of psychology will explain this behaviour. Most notably philosopher Stephen Stich has argued for this particular understanding of belief.
  • Our common-sense understanding of belief is entirely wrong and will be completely superseded by a radically different theory which will have no use for the concept of belief as we know it - Known as eliminativism, this view, (most notably proposed by Paul and Patricia Churchland), argues that the concept of belief is like obsolete theories of times past such as the four humours theory of medicine, or the phlogiston theory of combustion. In these cases science hasn’t provided us with a more detailed account of these theories, but completely rejected them as valid scientific concepts to be replaced by entirely different accounts. The Churchlands argue that our common-sense concept of belief is similar, in that as we discover more about neuroscience and the brain, the inevitable conclusion will be to reject the belief hypothesis in its entirety.
  • Our common-sense understanding of belief is entirely wrong, however treating people, animals and even computers as if they had beliefs, is often a successful strategy - The major proponents of this view, Daniel Dennett and Lynne Rudder Baker, are both eliminativists in that they believe that beliefs are not a scientifically valid concept, but they don’t go as far as rejecting the concept of belief as a predictive device. Dennett gives the example of playing a computer at chess. While few people would agree that the computer held beliefs, treating the computer as if it did (e.g. that the computer believes that taking the opposition’s queen will give it a considerable advantage) is likely to be a successful and predictive strategy. In this understanding of belief, named by Dennett the intentional stance, belief based explanations of mind and behaviour are at a different level of explanation and are not reducible to those based on fundamental neuroscience although both may be explanatory at their own level.

Jerry Alan Fodor (born 1935) is a philosopher at Rutgers University, New Jersey. ... Stephen Stich is a professor of Philosophy at Rutgers University. ... In the philosophy of mind, eliminative materialism is the school of thought that argues for an absolute version of materialism and physicalism with respect to mental entities and mental vocabulary. ... Paul Churchland (born 1942) is a philosopher working at the University of California, San Diego. ... Patricia Smith Churchland (born July 16, 1943 in Oliver, British Columbia, Canada) is a Canadian-American philosopher working at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) since 1984. ... The four humours were four fluids that were thought to permeate the body and influence its health. ... The phlogiston theory is a now discredited 17th century hypothesis regarding combustion. ... Daniel Clement Dennett (born March 28, 1942 in Boston, Massachusetts) is a prominent American philosopher whose research centers on philosophy of mind, philosophy of science and philosophy of biology, particularly as those fields relate to evolutionary biology and cognitive science. ... In the philosophy of mind, eliminative materialism is the school of thought that argues for an absolute version of materialism and physicalism with respect to mental entities and mental vocabulary. ... The Intentional Stance is a theory of mental content proposed, developed and championed by the American philosopher Daniel C. Dennett. ...

Is belief voluntary?

Most philosophers hold the view that belief formation is to some extent spontaneous and involuntary.[citation needed] Some people think that one can choose to investigate and research a matter but that one can not choose to believe. On the other hand, most people have the impression that in some cases people don't believe things because they don't want to believe, especially about a matter in which they are emotionally involved. Image File history File links Emblem-important. ...


Delusional beliefs

Delusions are defined as beliefs in psychiatric diagnostic criteria (for example in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). Psychiatrist and historian G. E. Berrios has challenged the view that delusions are genuine beliefs and instead labels them as "empty speech acts", where affected persons are motivated to express false or bizarre belief statements due to an underlying psychological disturbance. However, the majority of mental health professionals and researchers treat delusions as if they were genuine beliefs. A delusion is commonly defined as a fixed false belief and is used in everyday language to describe a belief that is either false, fanciful or derived from deception. ... An MRI scan of a human brain and head. ... The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual published by the American Psychiatric Association The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is a handbook for mental health professionals that lists different categories of mental disorder and the criteria for diagnosing them, according to the publishing organization the American Psychiatric Association. ... German E. Berrios is a Professor of Psychiatry at Cambridge University in the UK. He was born in Tacna (Perú) and studied medicine and philosophy at the University of San Marcos (Lima, Perú). Subsequently, he read psychology and philosophy at Corpus Christi College, Oxford University, where he was a scholar...


Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and a number of other critics of religion have proposed the idea that many (if not most) faith-based religious beliefs are actually delusional beliefs. Some critics of atheism disagree with this view of religious beliefs. John P. Koster (The Atheist Syndrome), R.C. Sproul (If There is a God Why are There Atheists), Ravi Zacharias (The Real Face of Atheism), Alister McGrath (The Twilight of Atheism), and Paul Vitz (The Psychology of Atheism) have all argued the contrary to one degree or another. Clinton Richard Dawkins, FRS (born March 26, 1941) is a British ethologist, evolutionary biologist and popular science writer who holds the Charles Simonyi Chair for the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Oxford. ... For other persons named Sam Harris, see Sam Harris (disambiguation). ... Religious is a term with both a technical definition and folk use. ... Alister E. McGrath (b. ...


In Lewis Carroll's Alice Through the Looking Glass, the White Queen says, "Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." This is often quoted in mockery of the common ability of people to entertain beliefs contrary to fact. Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (IPA: ) (January 27, 1832 – January 14, 1898), better known by the pen name Lewis Carroll (), was an English author, mathematician, logician, Anglican clergyman and photographer. ... Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There (1871) is a work of childrens literature by Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson). ...


Limiting beliefs

The term limiting belief is used for a belief that inhibits exploration of a wider cognitive space than would otherwise be the case. Examples of limiting beliefs are seen both in animals and people. These may be strongly held beliefs, or held unconsciously, and are often tied in with self-image or perceptions about the world. Everyday examples of limiting beliefs: It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Self-concept. ... In psychology and the cognitive sciences, perception is the process of acquiring, interpreting, selecting, and organizing sensory information. ...

  • That one has specific capabilities, roles, or traits which cannot be escaped or changed.
  • That one cannot succeed so there is no point committing to trying.
  • That particular opinion is right; therefore, there is no point considering other viewpoints.
  • That particular action or result is the only way to resolve a problem.

Notes

  1. ^ Bell, V., Halligan, P.W. & Ellis, H.D. (2006) A Cognitive Neuroscience of Belief. In P.W. Halligan & M. Aylward (eds) The Power of Belief. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

See also

Look up charm in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Cognitive dissonance is a psychological term describing the uncomfortable tension that may result from having two conflicting thoughts at the same time, or from engaging in behavior that conflicts with ones beliefs, or from experiencing apparently conflicting phenomena. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... In medicine and medical anthropology, a culture-specific syndrome or culture-bound syndrome is a combination of psychiatric and somatic symptoms that are considered to be a recognizable disease only within a specific society or culture. ... A delusion is commonly defined as a fixed false belief and is used in everyday language to describe a belief that is either false, fanciful or derived from deception. ... doxastic logic is a modal logic that is concerned with reasoning about beliefs. ... John Phillip, The Evil Eye (1859), a self-portrait depicting the artist sketching a Spanish gypsy who thinks she is being given the evil eye The evil eye a folklore belief that the envy elicited by the good luck of fortunate people may result in their misfortune, whether it is... expectation in the context of probability theory and statistics, see expected value. ... For other uses, see Faith (disambiguation). ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The Gettier problem is a fundamental problem in modern epistemology (the philosophy of knowledge), issuing from counterexamples to the definition of knowledge as justified true belief. ... IDEA may refer to: Electronic Directory of the European Institutions IDEA League Improvement and Development Agency Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Indian Distance Education Association Integrated Data Environments Australia Intelligent Database Environment for Advanced Applications IntelliJ IDEA - a Java IDE Interactive Database for Energy-efficient Architecture International IDEA (International Institute... G. E. Moore remarked once in a lecture on the absurdity involved in saying something like Its raining outside but I dont believe that it is. ... // In its original application, nocebo had a very specific meaning in the medical domains of pharmacology, and nosology, and aetiology. ... The observer-expectancy effect, in science, is a cognitive bias that occurs in science when a researcher expects a given result and therefore unconsciously manipulates an experiment or misinterprets data in order to find it. ... The technical term placebo is precisely applied in the specialized medical domains of pharmacology, nosology, and aetiology to denote the pharmacologically inert, dummy simulator of an active drug that serves as a scientific control in clinical trials designed to determine the clinical efficacy of that particular drug. ... A propositional attitude is a relational mental state connecting a person to a proposition. ... Propositional knowledge or declarative knowledge is knowledge that some proposition is either true or false. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... Self-deception is a process of denying or rationalizing away the relevance, significance, or importance of opposing evidence and argument. ... The spell is a magical act intended to cause an effect on reality using supernatural means of liturgical or ritual nature. ... Spirituality, in a narrow sense, concerns itself with matters of the spirit. ... The Subject-expectancy effect, in science, is a cognitive bias that occurs in science when a subject expects a given result and therefore unconsciously manipulates an experiment or reports the expected result. ... A so-called sugar pill is a pill containing no medical ingredient; this pill is given to half of the subjects of a double-blind drug trial. ... A person is deemed to be suggestible if they accept and act on suggestions by others. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Time Saving Truth from Falsehood and Envy, François Lemoyne, 1737 For other uses, see Truth (disambiguation). ... The name Thomas theorem refers to a fundamental principle in sociology formulated by William I. Thomas. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ...

External links

Look up belief in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
  • Beliefnet - Belief-o-matic
  • Compare Different Beliefs Information on different religions/beliefs
  • Beliefs and Practices Belief refers to a part of a wider Spirituality
  • Think without Beliefs Does rational thinking require the adherence to beliefs at all?
  • Religious Beliefs Submit a belief and read about others' thoughts?
  • Beyond Belief A sensibly serious comic perspective on belief
  • Ethics of Belief Classic WK Clifford essay that belief by its nature is unethical, with counterpoint by William James

  Results from FactBites:
 
CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Belief (2196 words)
Belief, however, as has already been noted, is often indiscriminatingly used for these and for other states of mind from which for the sake of accuracy it should be as carefully distinguished as is possible.
belief and knowledge, because of the fact that the same truth may simultaneously be the object of both.
belief in the sense of directing the intellect to examine the particular set of evidences or arguments in favour of the resultant assent and to neglect all that might be urged against it.
Belief - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1346 words)
Belief is considered propositional in that it is an assertion, claim or expectation about reality that is presumed to be either true or false (even if this cannot be practically determined, such as a belief in the existence of a particular deity).
The concept of belief presumes a subject (the believer) and an object of belief (the proposition) so like other propositional attitudes, belief implies the existence of mental states and intentionality, both of which are hotly debated topics in the philosophy of mind and whose foundations and relation to brain states are still controversial.
While some philosophers have argued that beliefs are represented in the mind as sentence-like constructs others have gone as far as arguing that there is no consistent or coherent mental representation that underlies our common use of the belief concept and is therefore obsolete and should be rejected.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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