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Can We Believe What We Do Not Understand?

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In a series of papers, Sperber provides the following analysis of the phenomenon of ill-understood belief (or ‘quasi-belief’, as I call it): (i) the quasi-believer has a validating meta-belief, to the effect that a certain representation is true; yet (ii) that representation does not give rise to a plain belief, because it is ‘semi-propositional’. In this paper I discuss several aspects of this treatment. In particular, I deny that the representation accepted by the quasi-believer is semantically indeterminate, and I reject Sperber's claim that quasi-belief is a credal attitude distinct from plain belief
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: CREA, Paris, France

Publication date: 1997-03-01

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