• Patterns, noise, and beliefs

    Author(s):
    Lajos Brons (see profile)
    Date:
    2019
    Group(s):
    Analytic Philosophy, Philosophy
    Subject(s):
    Philosophy of mind, Epistemology
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    belief reports, propositional attitudes, mental content, principle of charity
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/0rrx-ft81
    Abstract:
    In "Real Patterns" Daniel Dennett developed an argument about the reality of beliefs on the basis of an analogy with patterns and noise. Here I develop Dennett's analogy into an argument for descriptivism, the view that belief reports do no specify belief contents but merely describe what someone believes, and show that this view is also supported by empirical evidence. No description can do justice to the richness and specificity or "noisiness" of what someone believes, and the same belief can be described by different sentences or propositions (which is illustrated by Dennett's analogy, some Gettier cases, and Frege's puzzle), but in some contexts some of these competing descriptions are misleading or even false. Faithful (or truthful) description must be guided by a principle (or principles) related to the principle of charity: belief descriptions should not attribute irrationality to the believer or have other kinds of "deviant" implications.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    2 years ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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