Tag: Belief

  • What the [Bleep] Can we Know? Montaigne and the “Apology for Raymond Sebond.”

    By Kevin Currie-Knight ___ [The following is a transcript of the video linked at the end.] My sense is that the world today is too full of confidence in belief. It seems like today, it is imperative not only to have a belief about everything – the right politics, the right stance toward religion, what […]

  • Toleration

    by Kevin Currie-Knight ____ Suppose that you live next door to someone and think something about the way they live – their religion, their domestic arrangements, their politics, even their race – is wrong or objectionable. If you are a particularly grousy or dogmatic neighbor, you might take every occasion to let them know how […]


    By Kevin Currie-Knight ____ Early in her book, The Scout Mindset: Why Some People See Things Clearly and Others Don’t (Portfolio, 2021), Julia Galef comes right out and says: “Motivated reasoning is so fundamental to the way our minds work that it’s almost strange to have a special name for it; perhaps it should just […]

  • Evolution, belief, and manipulation: A discussion with Hugo Mercier

    by Robert Gressis ____ In this dialogue, Hugo Mercier (French National Center for Scientific Research, Not Born Yesterday) and I discuss how human belief and manipulation work, and Hugo’s research about why people aren’t as manipulable as we sometimes think. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NcMWlU6jzA&list=PLFBaXJ7yNOYERObvjSkJfoDOgtMWVhWse&index=2&ab_channel=ElectricAgora 01:24​ Hugo’s thesis: When it comes to communication, people are not easily manipulated, but […]

  • From Passion to Belief, Part II

    by Daniel Tippens In my last essay, I argued that there are cases when having a passion alone can justify a belief. In this essay I want to apply this notion, extrapolating from this lovely poem. The Heart of Night When all the stars are sown Across the night-blue space, With the immense unknown, In […]

  • From Passion to Belief

    by Daniel Tippens David Hume, the 18th century Scottish philosopher and empiricist, did not believe that there are any self-evident truths (beyond the trivial “relations of ideas”), nor did he believe that reason is what makes us confident in our beliefs. For him, all knowledge is acquired and justified by experience — observation of the […]

  • A Defense of Knowing Nothing

    by Robert Gressis ___ Introduction In this essay, I argue against the idea that in order to count as knowing some proposition P, P should be true, you have to believe P, and you should have some justification for believing P. I have several arguments for this view, but honestly, I don’t need any because […]

  • Belief and Knowledge Reconsidered

    E. John Winner How did we ever come to use such an expression as “I believe . . . “?  Did we at some time become aware of a phenomenon (of belief)?  Did we observe ourselves and other people and so discover belief? — Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations (1) §1. Recently, while reading Section 10 […]

  • Acceptance, Belief, and the Question of Informal Fallacies

    By Daniel Tippens Introduction Informal fallacies have become a hot topic in some circles. An informal fallacy is an argumentative move that may be psychologically persuasive, but is logically incorrect. [1] For example, an argument from authority is an informal fallacy, because it involves basing one’s conclusion on the premise that one is an expert […]