• creativesoul
    3.1k
    Where is meaning in your account of Jack's belief? Is Jack's belief only meaningful to us and not him?

    Surely not. Eh?
  • creativesoul
    3.1k
    Jack's mental ongoings are not meaningful to Jack?

    Nah. If that were the case, there would be no reason to attribute anything at all to Jack aside from his behaviour. What's driving the behaviour?

    Statements?

    Please...

    Our account of Jack's belief can be wrong in terms of what we attribute to it's content. Jack is non-linguistic. His belief cannot consist of elementary constituents that are existentially dependent upon language. That is as common sense as logic can get.

    Jack's belief cannot require language. Our report on Jack's belief not only can but they always do. Conflating the two is a grave error.
  • creativesoul
    3.1k
    That's all for now...

    Interesting conversation, by the way. Kudos.
  • creativesoul
    3.1k
    Jack cat is behaving as if there is a mouse under the bed.
    Jack thinks there is a mouse under the bed.
    For Jack, there is a mouse under the bed.
    For Jack, it is true that there is a mouse under the bed.
    Jack believes there is a mouse under the bed.
    — Banno

    Here we need to draw and maintain the crucial distinction between our talking about Jack's belief and Jack's belief. The two are not one in the same thing. So...

    Agree?
    creativesoul
  • creativesoul
    3.1k
    Gratuitous assertions won't do here Banno.

    8-)
  • creativesoul
    3.1k
    Mental ongoings aren't understood as long as one talks about them in terms of "things being in the head, or some such.

    Jack makes meaningful connections between 'objects 'of physiological sensory perception and/or itself. Jack can attribute causality, and does. This can be verified/falsified regardless of Jack's inability to talk about this attribution/recognition. If the attribution/recognition of causality doesn't count as thought and belief, then your notion of belief is an abuse of an otherwise completely intelligible notion.

    Jack acts in order to make the world be different. He has expectation. He attributes causality by making a meaningful connection between his behaviour and what followed. Jack believes that his behaviour will be followed by getting fed.

    Does Jack believe that his bowl is empty? He certainly knows how to get fed.

    Jack has no conception of "bowl". Jack has no language. Jack's belief is not propositional. Jack's belief cannot be a statement. His behaviour can. Our belief and our behaviour can be either and/or both. His behaviour does not necessarily show that he believes his bowl is empty.

    It shows his expectation. He expects to be fed.

    Jack knows that he does not like what happens after touching fire. Again, his behaviour shows his expectation. More attribution/recognition of causality.

    That's how it works my friend.

    That is an unassailable account of prelinguistic thought and belief. It does not require language. Our knowledge of it does.

    There is no need to conflate our reports with Jack's mental ongoings(belief). The former is existentially dependent upon language(consists of language constructs) and the latter is not(does not).
  • Luke
    111
    Yes, it is possible to break rules. I don't see the problem. One can hold in one's mind a rule to follow, yet still not follow it.Metaphysician Undercover

    You're conflating the written rules with your interpretation of the rules again. Just answer me this: are the written rules the rules, or not? Or do they not become rules until you have interpreted them?

    If it's the latter, then how can you break a rule? Because then it seems that each of us can only act contrary to our individual interpretation of the rule [rather than contrary to the rule itself], and nobody can ever be certain of what the rule actually is, or whether we each have the correct interpretation of it. Who the hell knows what "checkmate" really means, right?

    The words in my mind are not identical to the words I speak. The words I speak have a physical presence, as sound, and are public. The words in my mind have no such physical presence, and are private. There is only equivocation if we say that our use of "words" to refer to these two distinct types of words, is the same usage of "words".. That's why I am trying to differentiate these distinct usages, such that we do not equivocate.Metaphysician Undercover

    Yes, I already distinguished between them as "words in your mind" and "words you speak". As I said, I have no problem calling both of these "words".

    The "rules" in my mind are not really the same as the "rules" on the paper. The word "rules" refers to two distinct things here, regardless of the fact that we call them the same rules. This must be the case to account for the fact that I might interpret the rules in a way slightly different from you.Metaphysician Undercover

    If I interpret the chess rules such that rooks can only move diagonally and you don't, how do we resolve this? All we have is a bunch of different interpretations, right?

    When someone is using the same word in two distinct ways, and clearly indicates these two distinct ways (as I indicate with 'private' rules), yet the reader fails to acknowledge these two distinct ways, then the reader equivocates.Metaphysician Undercover

    No, you equivocate. How are 'private' rules different from written rules? That you have interpreted the former? Then they are not rules, but an interpretation of them.

    Stop pussyfooting around and just admit you think that the written rules are not rules, just some uninterpreted symbols and God knows what they really mean. Furthermore, admit that the actual rules are those that you interpret. Or I interpret. Or someone else interprets. But we can never really know what those mysterious "symbols" (i.e. English words) ever really mean. That is your position, right?

    So, you have made a mention of "actual rules" in the last post, and I asked you in one post to clarify what you mean by this.Metaphysician Undercover

    I'll make it simple: the actual rules are the rules (that have been written down or agreed upon or whatever). The rules are not some individual's private interpretation of the rules.

    I would say that this symbol represents the number two, and the actual number two is the interpretation of that symbol which exists in my mind.Metaphysician Undercover

    Is there any difference between them (besides that fact that one's a number and the other's your so-called interpretation of it)? Well, is there?
  • sime
    198
    That is were we differ. Is it that, too? Is there something in the mind that is the belief, apart from the behaviour? Wouldn't that be a beetle?Banno

    Self-reported beliefs bear greatly on issues pertaining to the problems of private language, since in many cases a person's self-reported beliefs are misleading and are at best weakly correlated to their behavioural dispositions, especially if their self-reported beliefs fail to mention crucially relevant external correlates that might be unknown even to them.

    For example, a manic-depressive who suffers Seasonal-Affective-Disorder might at one minute report that they hate their job and see no future for themselves when the sun is in, yet the next minute when the sun comes out they might report that they like their job and foresee a glorious future for themselves.

    If somebody does not know of the real causes of the suffer's mood instability they might say that they do not understand the suffer's constant changes in opinion, i.e. that the sufferer is largely speaking a "private language". Of course, the main challenge of therapy is to convince the sufferer not to rigidly interpret their own mental state without further investigation of the external correlates of their moods.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    4.3k
    You're conflating the written rules with your interpretation of the rules again. Just answer me this: are the written rules the rules, or not? Or do they not become rules until you have interpreted them?Luke

    I told you, we can use "rules" to refer to the written rules. I have no problem with that. And, they do not need to be interpreted by me to become rules, because they were written as rules.

    If it's the latter, then how can you break a rule? Because then it seems that each of us can only act contrary to our individual interpretation of the rule [rather than contrary to the rule itself], and nobody can ever be certain of what the rule actually is, or whether we each have the correct interpretation of it. Who the hell knows what "checkmate" really means, right?Luke

    Despite the fact that that I didn't say it was the latter, what you claim is not logical at all. There is the possibility of cheating in games. One can have a principle within one's mind, to follow as a rule, and still break that rule. Plato demonstrated this thousands of years ago, and Augustine discussed it at length. Plato discussed the sophist's position that virtue was a type of knowledge, knowing the correct action, and being a type of knowledge, they insisted it could be taught. But then there was still the issue of the person who knows the correct action but chooses to do wrong. So it turned out that virtue, doing what is right (or what you call following the rule) requires more than just knowing the what is right, it requires the will to do it.

    No, you equivocate. How are 'private' rules different from written rules? That you have interpreted the former? Then they are not rules, but an interpretation of them.Luke

    I gave you the examples of how we use "rule" in different ways. If you insist that a principle in my head, which I follow as a rule, like a New Year's resolution, is an interpretation of a written rule, then so be it. There's not much point in carrying on this discussion if you can't see beyond that.

    Stop pussyfooting around and just admit you think that the written rules are not rules, just some uninterpreted symbols and God knows what they really mean.Luke

    I told you, and demonstrated very clearly to you, that we use "rules" in different ways. I accept that all of these instances refer to rules, but I claim that we need to respect the differences. If I said there is two dogs in front of me would you insist that I must think one is not the real dog?

    I'll make it simple: the actual rules are the rules (that have been written down or agreed upon or whatever). The rules are not some individual's private interpretation of the rules.Luke

    "Or whatever"? So you think that answers my question?

    Is there any difference between them (besides that fact that one's a number and the other's your so-called interpretation of it)? Well, is there?Luke

    Of course there is a difference. It is the difference between the symbol and the thing symbolized. Do you not apprehend the difference between a symbol, and the thing represented, or symbolized by the symbol? Do you understand the difference between a numeral and a number? Or does "number" have no more meaning to you than as a numeral?
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    4.3k
    I think the issue is thinking that the belief is either...creativesoul

    Actually I'm with you here, I don't agree with either either. That's why I'm pointing to the inconsistencies. Banno's stated arguments can direct us in two very distinct ways. One being that belief is nothing more than behaviour, the other that belief is a description of behaviour.

    The latter requires someone to make the description, so the belief represented by the description is really nothing more than the belief of the author of that description. Sam26 has proposed separating the statement from the author, such that the statement with its meaning, is communal, and not proper to the author. To me, this just points toward Platonic Realism. The other direction leaves us with the need to account for the animal's observed behaviour. If it is not belief, then what is it?

    This is where we get to the relation between belief and things like habit, and conditioned response. If belief is a type of habit, or a conditioned response, then what distinguish it from other conditioned responses. If we do not adopt any principles of distinction, then all animals and even plants might be said to have beliefs.

    I do not think that it is absurd to propose language as the distinguishing feature of belief. If the individual who is active, can express the reasons for the action in terms of language, then we might say that the reasons for the action are beliefs. But if one cannot express the reasons for one's action in terms of language, then we cannot say that the reason for the action is belief. To adopt principles like this is to place defining limits on "belief" making the term more useful. But this particular definition would exclude other animals from having beliefs. We'd have to refer to other elements to explain those animals' behaviour.
  • Janus
    5.7k


    There is a distinction between 'belief' that is pre-linguistic and belief that is linguistically mediated.

    Then there is a distinction between thinking about pre-linguistic 'belief' and thinking about linguistically mediated belief. There is a tendency to impute the characteristics of the latter; propositionality, the ability to be "held" or "had" , and so on, to the former.

    These are the relevant distinctions as I see it; and not the distinction between belief and thinking about belief, per se. This is because linguistically mediated beliefs may be either implicit or explicit, that is more or less conscious, all without actually being thought about.
  • Banno
    3.3k
    One being that belief is nothing more than behaviour, the other that belief is a description of behaviour.Metaphysician Undercover

    Curiously, but not surprisingly, this is not my argument.

    My argument is that beliefs are explanations for behaviour, such that they set out what would be true in order for the behaviour to make sense.

    But that's why I gave up; there is no point in entering into a discussion with someone who constantly misrepresents what has been said.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    4.3k
    But that's why I gave up; there is no point in entering into a discussion with someone who constantly misrepresents what has been said.Banno

    What's even worse, is having discussion with someone who denies saying what was said, and replaces it with something else, as if the something else is what was said.

    Or does that belief amount to nothing more than the collection of tomato-related behaviours?Banno
    My argument is that beliefs are explanations for behaviour, such that they set out what would be true in order for the behaviour to make sense.Banno

    Do you recognize, that it makes a substantial difference to change what you say from "nothing more than the collection of tomato related behaviours", to "explanations for behaviour, such that they set out what would be true in order for the behaviour to make sense"?

    As I really do not want to misrepresent what you say, care to explain what you mean by "set out what would be true in order for the behaviour to make sense"? As far as I can tell, "what would be true in order for the behaviour to make sense" refers to a capacity of the one trying to make sense of the behaviour, rather than a capacity of the one who is performing the behaviour.

    Are you, as I suggested, saying that belief is a property of the person explaining the behaviour, and not a property of the one performing the behaviour? Or, do you take the position which I ascribe to Sam26, that belief is attributable to the explanation itself, that the statements, along with the meaning and belief, exist independently of the person making the statement?
  • creativesoul
    3.1k
    Historically epistemologists have held that the content of belief is propositional. This would make perfect sense in light of requiring that one justify his/her own beliefs. The account is the justification on their view, as has been mentioned previously. If one claims 'X', then one believes that 'X' is true, assuming a sincere speaker. 'X' here is held as the belief itself. Let 'X' be a statement. A belief statement, as it were. Stating 'X' is to state that one believes 'X'. In light of all this, Banno's definition of "belief" as an explanation makes perfect sense.

    However...

    Offering an account of one's own belief is to report upon it. Offering an account of another's belief is to report upon another's belief. This is a metacognitive endeavor, and as such it is existentially dependent upon language. It is to explain belief to another. Non-linguistic animals cannot do such a thing. We know this. If belief is an explanation for behaviour, then the only creatures capable of belief are those with complex written language.

    I'm putting it to you, the reader, that there are inherent inadequacies in the historical account. It does not follow from the fact that we use language to explain 'X' that the content of 'X' is linguistic. Let X be a rock. Rocks do not consist of statements/language. Some beliefs, like rocks, exist as they are prior to our awareness of them; prior to our discovery of them. These beliefs are pre-linguistic, and they are the sorts of things that help get language(shared meaning) off the ground, along with other things. They cannot possibly consist of statements/language.

    The historical error that Witt never quite grasped, but rather skirted around, is and always has been the failure to draw and maintain the crucial distinction between thought, belief and thinking about thought and belief. Neglecting to do this renders one's position completely incapable of distinguishing between belief that is not existentially dependent upon language and belief that is.
  • creativesoul
    3.1k
    There is a distinction between 'belief' that is pre-linguistic and belief that is linguistically mediated.

    Then there is a distinction between thinking about pre-linguistic 'belief' and thinking about linguistically mediated belief. There is a tendency to impute the characteristics of the latter; propositionality, the ability to be "held" or "had" , and so on, to the former.

    These are the relevant distinctions as I see it; and not the distinction between belief and thinking about belief, per se. This is because linguistically mediated beliefs may be either implicit or explicit, that is more or less conscious, all without actually being thought about.
    Janus

    The subject matter(what thought and belief consist in/of) is far more nuanced than this particular thread has shown. Unfortunately, it is all about belief...

    I'm not sure I follow you though...

    What's 'wrong' with saying that non-linguistic creatures form and hold belief?

    :-|
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    4.3k
    If one claims 'X', then one believes that 'X' is true, assuming a sincere speaker. 'X' here is held as the belief itself. Let 'X' be a statement. A belief statement, as it were. Stating 'X' is to state that one believes 'X'. In light of all this, Banno's definition of "belief" as an explanation makes perfect sense.creativesoul

    There's one significant problem here. This conclusion requires that the speaker is sincere, and speakers are not always sincere. As we see when someone is on trial, one's explanations for one's actions are not necessarily one's beliefs.
  • Janus
    5.7k


    Because "forming" and "holding" are hallmarks of propositionality.
  • creativesoul
    3.1k


    Well yes, assuming sincerity...
  • creativesoul
    3.1k
    As we see when someone is on trial, one's explanations for one's actions are not necessarily one's beliefsMetaphysician Undercover

    This person does have beliefs however... despite his/her deliberately misrepresenting them.
  • creativesoul
    3.1k
    What's 'wrong' with saying that non-linguistic creatures form and hold belief?creativesoul

    Because "forming" and "holding" are hallmarks of propositionality.Janus

    Explain what being a hallmark of 'propositionality' entails
  • creativesoul
    3.1k
    Is it anything more than being words used to discuss propositions?
  • Luke
    111
    I told you, we can use "rules" to refer to the written rules. I have no problem with that. And, they do not need to be interpreted by me to become rules, because they were written as rules.Metaphysician Undercover

    Really? That's a change from your earlier position, where you said:

    "In reality, when a human being follows a rule, that individual holds within one's mind, a principle which is adhered to. The principle, or "rule" which is followed, is within the individual's mind. It is not part of an external object such as a game."

    And:

    "Therefore if a "game" consists of a stated set of rules which must be followed, there is no game because there is no such set of rules."

    And:

    "What is the case, is that written rules are physical symbols on paper, or whatever medium, which must be interpreted. When the symbols are perceived (read), they are interpreted. If the individual desires to play the game, then the person will create principles within one's mind, and adhere to these principles in the act of playing the game."

    Please clarify which view you hold.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    4.3k
    Well yes, assuming sincerity...creativesoul

    There is a consequence here. The explanation can only be directly related to the action, as the reason for the action, and therefore the belief, as Banno proposes, if the explanation is a true explanation. This produces a somewhat odd definition of truth. True belief would have to mean the true explanation for one's actions. If the person has an odd understanding of reality, like a schizophrenic for example, one's beliefs would be true beliefs if they were true explanations for the behaviour, but they would be incorrect in relation to reality, when judged by others. Then we could not say that such a belief is a "false belief", its an incorrect belief. We would judge the belief (explanation) as wrong or right (justified in relation to the communal understanding of reality), but we could not say whether it is true or not unless we knew whether it was an accurate explanation.

    This person does have beliefs however... despite his/her deliberately misrepresenting them.creativesoul

    If, as Banno proposes, belief is an explanation for behaviour, then I can only assume that "true belief" signifies an accurate explanation. This gives "true belief a different meaning from what you're used to. If an explanation is a misrepresentation, that's a false belief. We ought not to say that there are any real, or in any way "true" beliefs which are hidden behind the misrepresentation of an inaccurate explanation. So whatever it is, that is hidden, private, secret, behind the misrepresentation which is deception, ought not even be called a belief. To grant existence to what has been willfully suppressed is a mistake. And if we mistakenly explain another's behaviour, then we cannot insist that this mistaken explanation refers to anything real either. Therefore there is no reason to grant existence to anything behind the inaccurate explanation.

    If you refer all the way back to Parmenides and Plato, you'll find that it is impossible to support any claim of existence of a false belief, with logic. So the assumption that a false belief has some type of existence as a belief which is other than a true belief, is best dismissed. The only real belief is a true belief. We ought to discard the idea that any belief could be false, for the assumption that only true beliefs have any type of real existence, because "false beliefs exist" only presents us with paradox and logical contradiction.



    As I said, numerous times, I use "rules" in different ways.

    Notice, that in your quoted passages, I am referring to "following rules". In order for a person to follow a rule, one must hold a principle within one mind, which is adhered to. So, when I follow a rule, I am following this principle which I hold in my mind. This is despite the fact, that there may be a written rule, and I might call this written rule, the rule which I am following. In this case, "rule" refers to two distinct things. The writing on the paper is called the rule, and the principle in my mind which is my interpretation of what's on the paper, is also called the rule which I am following. We could say that this is "the same rule".

    Remember the example I gave, of "the concept". My associate says "I have concept". Here, "concept" refers to something in the mind. Later, the associate puts it on paper, hands me the paper, and says "here is my concept". Here, "concept" refers to what is on the paper. In each case, we would say that "concept" refers to the same concept. But that same concept is in different forms. In one case, it's in the mind, in another it's on the paper. It is the same situation with "rule".

    So there is no problem for me to refer to the thing in the mind as the rule, and the thing on the paper as the rule, this is consistent with accepted usage. As I said, words are in my mind, and they are on the paper, and it is completely acceptable to call these the same words, despite the fact that they have a different form in my mind from what they have on the paper. It is nonsense for you to insist that I must choose one or the other.
  • creativesoul
    3.1k


    If belief is an explanation, and one offers an explanation that they do not believe, then not all explanations are belief.

    There is no issue.
  • creativesoul
    3.1k
    Banno explains Jack's behaviour. This is Banno's belief. Not Jacks.

    That's the issue.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    4.3k
    If belief is an explanation, and one offers an explanation that they do not believe, then not all explanations are belief.

    There is no issue.
    creativesoul

    You can't really say that there is no issue, because you've just used "believe" in the common way. Rather than maintaining consistency with "belief" as an explanation, you go and use "believe" the old way.

    If you maintain consistency with Banno's definition, then what the explanation describes, what it refers to, cannot be a belief, it must be something else.

    Consider that the explanation is a description, and the thing being described is what you would normally call the belief. Instead, the explanation itself is the belief. If there is not correspondence between the thing being described, and the explanation, then the explanation is false, a false belief. A true belief therefore requires the two components, the explanation, and the thing being described, with correspondence. If there is no correspondence, then there is no truth, and therefore no real belief. A false belief cannot be called a real belief. Likewise, the content without the explanation cannot be called a belief either.

    Banno explains Jack's behaviour. This is Banno's belief. Not Jacks.

    That's the issue.
    creativesoul

    I think, that if the explanation is accurate, then it is supposed to be an objective statement, which is a true belief, regardless of who may have made the statement. The explanation, why jack behaved in this way, corresponds with the reality, so it represents the content of no particular individual's mind, it just represents the truth. And if it doesn't represent the content of any particular person's mind, yet it is true, then it is simply a true belief.
  • Luke
    111
    As I said, numerous times, I use "rules" in different waysMetaphysician Undercover

    You have equivocated by referring to a rule as both a rule and your interpretation of a rule.

    Notice, that in your quoted passages, I am referring to "following rules". In order for a person to follow a rule, one must hold a principle within one mind, which is adhered to. So, when I follow a rule, I am following this principle which I hold in my mind. This is despite the fact, that there may be a written rule, and I might call this written rule, the rule which I am following. In this case, "rule" refers to two distinct things. The writing on the paper is called the rule, and the principle in my mind which is my interpretation of what's on the paper, is also called the rule which I am following. We could say that this is "the same rule".Metaphysician Undercover

    Bullshit. You said previously that a rule is not part of an external object such as a game, that "there is no such set of [written/stated] rules", and that the written rules are physical symbols which "must be interpreted". More recently you said "they do not need to be interpreted by me to become rules, because they were written as rules." This is not about different usages. You have clearly contradicted yourself.
  • Janus
    5.7k
    To form a belief as I would use the phrase (and which I think is in keeping with common usage) is to undergo a process of deliberation that is linguistically mediated. I would say that animals may habitually expect, but that they do not form beliefs.
    To hold a belief is to insist that some proposition is true; I don't think animals hold their beliefs; if anything they are held by them (by their expectations). You can use terminology however you like; I am just expressing my opinion about your usage; which does not seem sensible to me.
  • creativesoul
    3.1k
    If belief is an explanation, and one offers an explanation that they do not believe, then not all explanations are belief.

    There is no issue.
    — creativesoul

    You can't really say that there is no issue, because you've just used "believe" in the common way. Rather than maintaining consistency with "belief" as an explanation, you go and use "believe" the old way.

    If you maintain consistency with Banno's definition, then what the explanation describes, what it refers to, cannot be a belief, it must be something else.
    Metaphysician Undercover

    Well, I've learned to take Banno at his word. Something tells me that if he wanted to claim that all explanations are belief, he would've said so. He didn't. His logical prowess bears witness to this. He is more than capable of proper quantification. Thus, I have to take what he wrote for what it says. He did not say "all"...

    So, not only can I say that there is no issue, I can justify my saying so as well.



    Consider that the explanation is a description, and the thing being described is what you would normally call the belief. Instead, the explanation itself is the belief. If there is not correspondence between the thing being described, and the explanation, then the explanation is false, a false belief. A true belief therefore requires the two components, the explanation, and the thing being described, with correspondence. If there is no correspondence, then there is no truth, and therefore no real belief. A false belief cannot be called a real belief. Likewise, the content without the explanation cannot be called a belief either.

    I'll ignore all the bits about truth, and 'real' belief. Belief is belief. Prefixing "belief" with the term "real" adds only unnecessary confusion. Again...

    There is no issue. I did not call an insincere speech act a belief statement. I'm certain that Banno wouldn't either. I know he didn't.



    Banno explains Jack's behaviour. This is Banno's belief. Not Jacks.

    That's the issue.
    — creativesoul

    I think, that if the explanation is accurate, then it is supposed to be an objective statement, which is a true belief, regardless of who may have made the statement. The explanation, why jack behaved in this way, corresponds with the reality, so it represents the content of no particular individual's mind, it just represents the truth. And if it doesn't represent the content of any particular person's mind, yet it is true, then it is simply a true belief.
    Metaphysician Undercover

    I've no idea what you're trying to say here.

    Banno has claimed that Jack has true belief. He has also claimed that all belief is linguistic(statements). The issue is that Jack has no language.

    It cannot be the case that Jack has no language, belief is linguistic, and Jack has belief.

    That's the issue. Banno's statements are not Jack's belief.
  • creativesoul
    3.1k
    To form a belief as I would use the phrase (and which I think is in keeping with common usage) is to undergo a process of deliberation that is linguistically mediated. I would say that animals may habitually expect, but that they do not form beliefs. To hold a belief is to insist that some proposition is true; I don't think animals hold their beliefs; if anything they are held by them (by their expectations). You can use terminology however you like; I am just expressing my opinion about your usage; which does not seem sensible to me.Janus

    Well yeah...

    What you've said here pretty much follows what the whole of epistemology(JTB) has held for centuries. When one holds such, s/he cannot admit of non-linguistic creatures believing anything at all. Your position works from the dubious presupposition that all belief require metacognition...

    That's clearly wrong. Witt knew it. We all do. Not all belief requires thinking about thought and belief. There is a pivotal difference between thought, belief and thinking about thought and belief. The latter requires language. The former does not. The latter is existentially dependent upon the former, but not the other way around. So...

    Our observations clearly show us that animals attribute causality. That requires thought and belief. To think that fire caused tremendous discomfort is to believe that touching fire causes pain. It is to draw mental correlations between one's own actions and what followed. It does not require, nor can it, propositional content(unless you want to argue that propositions aren't dependent upon language). I would argue against that idea, of course.

    So, how do we solve a problem with a linguistic framework(conceptual scheme) if and when it logically leads to conclusions that conflict with everyday fact(s)?

    We carefully critique the framework...

    A fatal mistake of epistemology(JTB) is one of neglecting to draw and maintain the crucial distinction between thought, belief and thinking about thought and belief.

    Not all belief is propositional. The mistake is holding that the content of all belief is propositional. It's not. All belief consists entirely of mental correlations... propositional notwithstanding. All predication consists of mental correlations. All meaning does as well...

    That's how it works. All of it. Everything ever thought, believed, written and/or spoken. All mental ongoings, regardless of what we name them("imaginings", "remembering", "dreaming", "thinking", "thought", "belief", etc.) - all of them consist entirely of mental correlations.

    A belief is formed, on my view, at the moment the correlation is first drawn.

    But why bother? It's much ado about nothing. Remember?
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Welcome to The Philosophy Forum!

Get involved in philosophical discussions about knowledge, truth, language, consciousness, science, politics, religion, logic and mathematics, art, history, and lots more. No ads, no clutter, and very little agreement — just fascinating conversations.