Synthese 197 (10):4495-4518 (2020)

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Abstract
This paper addresses the ongoing debate over the relation between belief and credence. A proposal is made to reverse the currently predominant order of analysis, by taking belief as conceptually basic and credence as the phenomenon to be clarified. In brief, the proposal is to explicate an agent’s credence in a proposition P as the agent’s tendency toward believing P. Platitudinous as this reduction may seem, it runs counter to all of the major positions in the debate, including the Threshold View, the Certainty View as conventionally understood, Dualism, Eliminativism, as well as Credence Primitivism. Section 1 gives an overview on the current state of the debate. Section 2 considers unsuccessful predecessors of the proposed belief-first approach to credence. Section 3 motivates and lays out the basics of a conceptual framework for thinking about doxastic states that characterizes such states in terms of two formally independent dimensions, one pertaining to the agent’s tendency toward believing P, the other to the level of resilience with which the agent manifests that tendency. Against this backdrop, it is argued in Sect. 4 that the present reduction satisfies a set of standard, theoretically neutral criteria of adequacy for theories of credence, at least once they are purged of a quite common conflation of tendency and resilience. Section 5 argues against all of the above competing accounts.
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-018-01938-4
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References found in this work BETA

Change in View: Principles of Reasoning.Gilbert H. Harman - 1986 - Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press.
Logic and Conversation.H. Paul Grice - 1975 - In Maite Ezcurdia & Robert J. Stainton (eds.), The Semantics-Pragmatics Boundary in Philosophy. Broadview Press. pp. 47.
Belief, Credence, and Norms.Lara Buchak - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 169 (2):1-27.
Belief, Credence, and Pragmatic Encroachment1.Jacob Ross & Mark Schroeder - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (2):259-288.

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Citations of this work BETA

Credence: A Belief-First Approach.Andrew Moon & Elizabeth Jackson - 2020 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (5):652–669.
Certainty in Action.Bob Beddor - 2020 - Philosophical Quarterly 70 (281):711-737.

View all 9 citations / Add more citations

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