By L. Jonathan Cohen
During this incisive new ebook considered one of Britain's most outstanding philosophers explores the often-overlooked stress among voluntariness and involuntariness in human cognition. He seeks to counter the frequent tendency for analytic epistemology to be ruled through the concept that of trust. Is medical wisdom thoroughly conceived as being embodied, at its most sensible, in a passive feeling of trust or in an lively coverage of recognition? may still a jury's verdict claim what its participants involuntarily think or what they voluntarily settle for? and will statements and assertions be presumed to specific what their authors think or what they settle for? Does this sort of contrast among trust and recognition aid to unravel the paradoxes of self-deception and akrasia? needs to humans be taken to think every thing entailed via what they think, or basically to simply accept every thing entailed by means of what they settle for? via a scientific exam of those difficulties, the writer sheds new mild on problems with an important significance in modern epistemology, philosophy of brain, and cognitive science.
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Additional info for An Essay on Belief and Acceptance
But these paradoxes are avoided altogether if acceptance is instead regarded as merely being subjectively closed under deducibility. Your acceptance then reaches no further than the rule of modus ponendo ponens will carry you. If you accept both p and the deducibility of q from p, then you at least unintentionally, if not in fact intentionally, accept q. Of course, where q is deducible from p and you acceptp, you ought always to accept q. But whether you actually do so or not depends on whether you also accept that q is deducible from p.
It must be traceable to his desire. But are desires available at will, any more than beliefs are? Desires, it seems, arise in one slowly, grow on one steadily or come over one suddenly, much as beliefs do. Like beliefs they can be planted in one's mind by events or by other people, but not by oneself. They are dispositions to have certain feelable yearnings, cravings, wishes, likings, or hankerings. And, like beliefs, they may vary in strength or weakness. Desire that p, however, is not entailed by a disposition to bring it about that p, any more than belief that p is entailed by a disposition to act in accordance with that belief (pp.
2 I want to concentrate attention in the present chapter, therefore, on the implications of the distinction between belief and acceptance for the analysis of purposive explanation, even if in so doing I have to ignore numerous other distinctions that would have to be drawn in a more comprehensive treatment. Four fairly obvious points need to be made at the outset, because someone who gives a purposive explanation of an action in terms of the agent's belief and desire does not normally intend that why, say, James did act A should be explained causally just by reference to the fact that James desired B and believed that doing A would bring about B.
An Essay on Belief and Acceptance by L. Jonathan Cohen