• creativesoul
    6k
    So, there's been a number of threads recently that have skirted around this question...

    According to the JTB rendition of knowledge, the belief that account, and many others... belief is propositional. That is, the content of belief is linguistic, propositional, and/or statements...

    I think that that is wrong. Not all belief has propositional content.

    I suspect that this would make a good debate.

    Anyone interested in this or something similar?
  • T Clark
    4.2k
    Not all belief has propositional content.creativesoul

    What does it mean that something has propositional content? That it can be expressed in words?

    How about some examples with and without.
  • Uneducated Pleb
    38
    That is, the content of belief is linguistic, propositional, and/or statementscreativesoul
    I would shorten that to "the content of belief is propositional." since how the proposition is expressed - symbolic, spoken, or thought - are only the mechanisms of expression for that content.

    I believe "x" to be true or to be false.

    Not all belief has propositional content.creativesoul
    Example?

    If one holds a belief without propositional content, then how would it fit under the definition of a "belief"? I would agree that you can have thoughts w/o propositional content, or speech, etc. But to hold a belief, I would have to think, entails the propositional content in order to be defined as one (a belief).
  • Michael
    8k
    FYI, this is in the Debate Proposals category. @creativesoul is asking if anyone would like to argue against him in a formal debate (which, incidentally, would be our first).

    This isn't the place to actually discuss the topic. I'll delete any further comments like the above two.
  • creativesoul
    6k
    Still like to see this debated...

    Anyone?

    :brow:
  • frank
    3.1k
    Still like to see this debated...

    Anyone?
    creativesoul

    I think it would just be a discussion about different ways to use "belief."

    But people can use it anyway they want, true?
  • creativesoul
    6k


    The debate is about the content thereof. The topic presupposes that belief has content. Both sides must agree there, lest there is nothing to debate.
  • frank
    3.1k
    The debate is about the content thereof. The topic presupposes that belief has content. Both sides must agree there, lest there is nothing to debate.creativesoul

    I believe in you.
  • creativesoul
    6k


    At least I have one fan...

    :wink:

    I was posing the debate to those who hold that all belief content is propositional.
  • frank
    3.1k
    At least I have one fan...creativesoul

    :up: Did you know that most fish evolved from a fish that had a lung? They didn't use it, so it became detached from the esophagus and became an air bladder used for positioning.

    I was posing the debate to those who hold that all belief content is propositional.creativesoul

    Yes. A person who takes that stance is pushing a certain way of using "belief."

    John believes that Stephen King's first novel was Christine.

    That usage does relate belief to a proposition. There are other ways to use the word, though.
  • alcontali
    507
    I think that that is wrong. Not all belief has propositional content.creativesoul

    Not all belief has propositional content, but all knowledge does.
  • Marchesk
    2.8k
    I think it would just be a discussion about different ways to use "belief."frank

    Eliminativism maintains that propositional content which includes beliefs and desires are fictions and will be replaced by future neuroscience with a scientific understanding of what really goes on when we say:

    "Johnny did X because he believed it would get him Y."

    But it sounds like creativesoul is wanting to debate what the content of beliefs are, not whether they exist.
  • frank
    3.1k
    Eliminativism maintains that propositional content which includes beliefs and desires are fictions and will be replaced by future neuroscience with a scientific understanding of what really goes on when we say:

    "Johnny did X because he believed it would get him Y."

    But it sounds like creativesoul is wanting to debate what the content of beliefs are, not whether they exist.
    Marchesk

    There's a misunderstanding here about what propositions are. People who talk about propositions can do so without reference to any sort of ontology. It's just a feature of communciation. Finding the term useful doesn't commit one to idealism or any other brand.

    Eliminativism is a special kind of ontology in which a philosopher is swinging a sword in a dark room trying to kill something. We can ride on past eliminativists with the same apathy we have for solipsists.
  • creativesoul
    6k
    Did you know that most fish evolved from a fish that had a lung? They didn't use it, so it became detached from the esophagus and became an air bladder used for positioning.frank

    I've heard/read something along those lines.




    I was posing the debate to those who hold that all belief content is propositional.
    — creativesoul

    Yes. A person who takes that stance is pushing a certain way of using "belief."

    John believes that Stephen King's first novel was Christine.

    That usage does relate belief to a proposition. There are other ways to use the word, though.
    frank

    Indeed. The belief that approach is a position arguing for the idea that all belief content is propositional, because it is always a statement/proposition which follows the terms "believe that". I would argue for and against such an approach, in that I would 'sharpen' it by showing how it suffers from conflation as it is.

    As far as other ways to use words...

    Such is the ground for semantic arguments, argument by definitional fiat, etc. Here, again, I would grant the sense/definition and then show it's inherent inadequacies wherever they may be. Such a debate could become an exercise in comparison/contrast, although an adequate criterion for what counts as belief could be agreed upon. The debate could proceed in a few different directions.

    You're moving in the right direction with the talk about evolution. Belief being amenable to evolutionary progression is imperative. As it stands, to the best of my knowledge, there is no such academic understanding. The reason this is lacking is - in part at least - because of the idea that all belief has propositional content. That's just not true.
  • frank
    3.1k
    The belief that approach is a position arguing for the idea that all belief content is propositional,creativesoul

    It's just how we speak. I believe that. Are we saying it wrong?
  • creativesoul
    6k


    Not at all. We're accounting for it wrong.
  • Coben
    802
    A belief that is not a proposition would be something like an expectation. Sort of like a sense that there is a natural law that one never has articulated. But I think any belief would have a propositional counterpart. One could put it in a proposition. In fact with troublesome beliefs that the person in question has not formulated in an proposition, I think it is a good thing to try to 'put it into words' because that makes it easier to notice, to notice the effects of it, to test it, to challenge it, to begin the process of no longer having it. For example.
  • creativesoul
    6k
    A belief that is not a proposition would be something like an expectation. Sort of like a sense that there is a natural law that one never has articulated. But I think any belief would have a propositional counterpart. One could put it in a proposition. In fact with troublesome beliefs that the person in question has not formulated in an proposition, I think it is a good thing to try to 'put it into words' because that makes it easier to notice, to notice the effects of it, to test it, to challenge it, to begin the process of no longer having it. For example.Coben

    Nice.

    Expectation is the result of forming and re-forming thought/belief. Hume's bit on the so-called fallacy of induction, if taken to heart by one who does not know better, leads one to think/believe that that which all thought/belief is existentially dependent upon is somehow unacceptable/fallacious.

    Acknowledging the possibility for unforeseen events does not render a belief which keeps them in mind unjustified and/or fallacious. Causality requires consistency. When one discovers a causal relationship, it requires doing what Hume calls a problem. When one misattributes a casual relationship, there is a problem, but it's not the problem of all induction. Rather, it's the problem with a misattribution of causality.

    The Problem of Induction stems from Hume's ignorance regarding thought/belief itself. He does mention expectation in his Enquiry - in passing. He also readily admits of struggling with belief. Indeed he did and the consequences are shown in his work. Too bad so many centuries have passed without someone else noticing.
  • Coben
    802
    Acknowledging the possibility for unforeseen events does not render a belief which keeps them in mind unjustified and/or fallaciouscreativesoul
    No, it doesn't (me agreeing). Another word for them we could use are heuristics, which are rarely infallible, but that's ok since heuristics save us treating all situations invidually and as potential anomalies.

    I'd have to reread the Hume to be intelligent about his position.
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