A quick tour of the doxastic zoo
Open University and Crete
The concept of belief is central to both folk psychology and much scientific psychology. Beliefs are, in Frank Ramsey’s phrase, maps by which we steer: they are, or encode, our take on what the world is like. Yet there are many different theoretical accounts of belief, and many distinctions have been drawn between different kinds of belief -- implicit and explicit, standing-state and occurrent, graded and binary, intuitive and reflective, conscious and nonconscious, and so on. In addition, theorists have identified a range of belief-like states -- alief, subdoxastic states, opinion, acceptance, delusion -- with which belief may be confused or conflated. This situation is ripe for confusion and cross-talk, and it is often unclear whether disagreements about the nature and function of belief are substantive or merely terminological. In this talk I shall give an overview of the different types of belief and belief-like state, discuss the relations between them, and say something about the role affective factors may play in their formation.