Beliefs, Heresies, and Changes in Mind

Philip N. Johnson-Laird

in How We Reason

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780199551330
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191701580 | DOI:
Beliefs, Heresies, and Changes in Mind

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This chapter concentrates on beliefs, heresies, and changes of mind. The detection of an inconsistency, the revision of beliefs, and the explanation of the inconsistency are three steps that offer the psychologist with an agenda for the study of changes of mind. Logic does not tell which is the offending belief. The chapter also addresses what should be done when an inconsistency is determined. Beliefs differ in how entrenched they are. The word ‘entrenchment’ is used to refer solely to the intellectual basis for a belief, such as its coherence with other beliefs, the existence of reasons that support it, its probability, and so on. In general, the entrenchment of a statement depends on its form, its meaning, and its relation to other knowledge. Moreover, the chapter considers how reasoning can affect beliefs.

Keywords: beliefs; heresies; changes of mind; inconsistency; entrenchment; reasoning

Chapter.  7468 words. 

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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