Believing and Accepting by Pascal Engel

By Pascal Engel

The idea of trust figures prominently in modern philosophy of language and brain and in cognitive technology. those essays tackle a variety of concerns in regards to the complexity of our trust attitudes, their contents, and the effect of motivational elements on ideals. The e-book is addressed to philosophers, psychologists, cognitive scientists and social theorists attracted to the matter of illustration, metarepresentation and the contents of propositional attitudes.

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Thus, my acceptance of the proposition that the table is four feet long may be regarded as an internalized assent to a mental token of "The table is four feet long". In this fonn we can draw an analogy between this internalized assent and the public speech act of assent perfonned when saying "Yes, I agree" in response to another's remark. THE POSSIBILITY, OF ACCEPTANCE 33 With this relationship between acceptance as a mental act and assent and assertions as speech acts established, it is easy to understand the paradox noted by G.

The fact that we have such a dispute, however, should serve as a warning of the vagueness ofthe concepts ofacceptance and beliefused in formulating it. As I noted above, our conclusions about beliefs seem dictated by our understanding of the uses of belief ascriptions. In an effort to clear up some confusions surrounding our topic, I want now to take a closer look at some of these uses. IV. BELIEF ASCRIPTION AND REALISM Our starting with Moore's Paradox and conditions for speech acts has the effect of formulating the issue before us as a question about what we say.

It is important only that he proposed a theory that eventually gained community acceptance. But since it is community acceptance that Cohen seems to be appealing to, the practice of transfonning a hypothesis into a premiss used in other inferences, it must be paired with community belief. We do, after all, speak of belief within a community of inquirers, for example, the belief of physicists in the general relativity theory or the belief ofbiologists in the Watson-Crick helical model ofDNA. Ifacceptance within science is to be understood as a communal practice in which many participate, then it would seem ~elief must also be understood in this group sense.

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