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On theoretical and practical doxastic attitudes

Tjerk Gauderis (UGent)
(2014) LOGOS & EPISTEME. 5(4). p.425-443
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Abstract
In the literature on doxastic attitudes, the notion ‘belief’ is used in both a coarse-grained and a fine-grained manner. While the coarse-grained notion of ‘belief,’ as the doxastic attitude that expresses any form of assent to its content, is a useful technical concept, the fine-grained notion, which tries to capture the folk notion of ‘belief’ in contrast with other doxastic concepts such as ‘acceptance’ or ‘degrees of confidence,’ is utterly ambiguous. In order to dispel this ambiguity, I introduce first a new framework for describing doxastic attitudes that does not rely on a specific fine-grained primitive notion of ‘belief.’ This framework distinguishes two different doxastic attitudes, i.e. the theoretical and the practical, and explains how various doxastic concepts such as ‘accepting,’ ‘having a degree of confidence’ and the folk notion of ‘belief’ all describe a particular interpretation of one or both of the distinguished doxastic attitudes. Next, by focusing on ongoing debates over the difference between ‘acceptance’ and ‘belief’ on the one hand and between ‘degrees of confidence’ and ‘(plain) belief’ on the other, I argue that much precision can be gained in philosophical analysis by taking a reductionist stance concerning any specific fine-grained and primitive notion of ‘belief.’
Keywords
acceptance, doxastic attitudes, belief, degrees of confidence, degrees of belief

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Chicago
Gauderis, Tjerk. 2014. “On Theoretical and Practical Doxastic Attitudes.” Logos & Episteme 5 (4): 425–443.
APA
Gauderis, T. (2014). On theoretical and practical doxastic attitudes. LOGOS & EPISTEME, 5(4), 425–443.
Vancouver
1.
Gauderis T. On theoretical and practical doxastic attitudes. LOGOS & EPISTEME. 2014;5(4):425–43.
MLA
Gauderis, Tjerk. “On Theoretical and Practical Doxastic Attitudes.” LOGOS & EPISTEME 5.4 (2014): 425–443. Print.
@article{6935964,
  abstract     = {In the literature on doxastic attitudes, the notion {\textquoteleft}belief{\textquoteright} is used in both a coarse-grained and a fine-grained manner. While the coarse-grained notion of {\textquoteleft}belief,{\textquoteright} as the doxastic attitude that expresses any form of assent to its content, is a useful technical concept, the fine-grained notion, which tries to capture the folk notion of {\textquoteleft}belief{\textquoteright} in contrast with other doxastic concepts such as {\textquoteleft}acceptance{\textquoteright} or {\textquoteleft}degrees of confidence,{\textquoteright} is utterly ambiguous. In order to dispel this ambiguity, I introduce first a new framework for describing doxastic attitudes that does not rely on a specific fine-grained primitive notion of {\textquoteleft}belief.{\textquoteright} This framework distinguishes two different doxastic attitudes, i.e. the theoretical and the practical, and explains how various doxastic concepts such as {\textquoteleft}accepting,{\textquoteright} {\textquoteleft}having a degree of confidence{\textquoteright} and the folk notion of {\textquoteleft}belief{\textquoteright} all describe a particular interpretation of one or both of the distinguished doxastic attitudes. Next, by focusing on ongoing debates over the difference between {\textquoteleft}acceptance{\textquoteright} and {\textquoteleft}belief{\textquoteright} on the one hand and between {\textquoteleft}degrees of confidence{\textquoteright} and {\textquoteleft}(plain) belief{\textquoteright} on the other, I argue that much precision can be gained in philosophical analysis by taking a reductionist stance concerning any specific fine-grained and primitive notion of {\textquoteleft}belief.{\textquoteright}},
  author       = {Gauderis, Tjerk},
  issn         = {2069-0533},
  journal      = {LOGOS \& EPISTEME},
  keyword      = {acceptance,doxastic attitudes,belief,degrees of confidence,degrees of belief},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {425--443},
  title        = {On theoretical and practical doxastic attitudes},
  volume       = {5},
  year         = {2014},
}