Download PDF by Paul Helm: Belief Policies

By Paul Helm

How will we shape and regulate our ideals concerning the international? whereas accepting that what we think relies on proof, and as a result isn't without delay lower than our keep an eye on, Professor Helm argues that no idea of data is whole with no criteria for accepting and rejecting facts as belief-worthy. those criteria, or belief-policies, usually are not themselves made up our minds through proof, yet ascertain what counts as credible facts. in contrast to unmarried ideals, Helm argues, belief-policies are without delay topic to the desire, and therefore to weak point of will and self-deception. Helm unearths the significance of the assumption of belief-policies in numerous parts of philosophy, specifically the philosophy of faith.

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So, although for the same person at the same time there can be beliefs of different strengths, some justified, some not, and yet all of them genuinely beliefs, this is not true for knowledge. There are not different kinds of knowledge where 'knowledge' is being used in the same sense. The only sense that can be attached to different kinds of knowledge is that of there being knowledge of different kinds of things — knowledge by acquaintance versus knowledge by description, perhaps, or knowledge of persons versus knowledge of things, or knowledge of arithmetic versus knowledge of astronomy.

It is widely agreed that such attempts fail, but they are not without interest. They provide the first of several different possible ways in which it has seemed plausible to establish connections between epistemology and norms. B E L I E F AS NORMATIVE Can belief be defined or analysed in normative terms? This question raises two separate issues: the issue of whether a given proposition ought to be believed, or whether it is belief-worthy, or is warranted or justified, and the issue of whether or not a person's believing that proposition is warranted or justified.

If I report to you the things I now see and hear and feel — the chances are that my report will be correct. I will be telling you something I know. And so, too, if you report the things that you think you now see and hear and feel. To be sure, there are hallucinations and illusions. People often think they see or hear or feel things that in fact they do not see or hear or feel. But from this fact — that our senses do sometimes deceive us — it hardly follows that your senses and mine are deceiving you and me right now.

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