Alief and Belief

Tamar Szabó Gendler

in Intuition, Imagination, and Philosophical Methodology

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780199589760
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595486 | DOI:
Alief and Belief

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This chapter introduces and argues for the importance of a cognitive state that the author calls alief. Roughly speaking, an alief is a mental state with associatively linked content that is representational, affective, and behavioral, and that is activated—consciously or unconsciously—by features of the subject's internal or ambient environment. The notion of alief explains a number of otherwise perplexing phenomena, including cases discussed by David Hume, H. H. Price, David Velleman, Paul Rozin, and John Bargh. The notion also has implications for the role of thought experiments and intuitions in philosophy, and for neo‐Aristotelian ethical theories.

Keywords: alief; belief; unconscious motivation; superstition; affect; thought experiment; intuition; David Hume; David Velleman; H. H. Price; John Bargh; Paul Rozin; Aristotle; virtue ethics

Chapter.  14151 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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