I haven’t followed up most recent developments in philosophy and was therefore quite intrigued by a lecture of Hannes Leitgeb last week about “Reducing belief simpliciter to degrees of belief” – or should I say degrees of probability? Details about the lecture in my notes. While common sense would put belief more to the theology department, modern philosophers have a quite different position as he further explained me (and which are excellently summarized at plato.stanford.edu)
contemporary analytic philosophers of mind generally use the term “belief” to refer to the attitude we have, roughly, whenever we take something to be the case or regard it as true. To believe something, in this sense, needn’t involve actively reflecting on it: Of the vast number of things ordinary adults believe, only a few can be at the fore of the mind at any single time. Nor does the term “belief”, in standard philosophical usage, imply any uncertainty or any extended reflection about the matter in question (as it sometimes does in ordinary English usage). Many of the things we believe, in the relevant sense, are quite mundane: that we have heads, that it’s the 21st century, that a coffee mug is on the desk. Forming beliefs is thus one of the most basic and important features of the mind, and the concept of belief plays a crucial role in both philosophy of mind and epistemology.
Philosophers target a universal definition Continue reading Science – a belief system