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The Non-Reificatory Approach to Belief

  • Presents a timely defense of a non-reificatory notion of belief

  • Argues that the attachment of the behaviourist label to Ryle and Wittgenstein is unjustified

  • Explains how the non-reificatory approach was born out of the ordinary language philosophy of the twentieth century


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Richard Floyd
    Pages 1-26
  3. Richard Floyd
    Pages 57-86
  4. Richard Floyd
    Pages 121-162
  5. Richard Floyd
    Pages 163-204
  6. Richard Floyd
    Pages 205-208
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 209-212

About this book


This book argues against the mainstream view that we should treat propositional attitudes as internal states, suggesting that to treat beliefs as things of certain sort (i.e. to reify them) is a mistake. The reificatory view faces several problems that the non-reificatory view avoids, and it is argued the non-reificatory view is more faithful to the everyday concept of belief. There are several major reasons why it might be thought that a reificatory approach to mental states is nevertheless unavoidable, but this book attempts to show that none of these reasons is at all convincing; in each case, the evidence is consistent with a non-reificatory view. Having argued that the popularity of the reificatory view is unjustified, the author examines history of psychology and philosophy of mind, and the structure of psychological language, in order to show that this popularity is quite understandable, but mistaken nonetheless.


reification philosophy of mind Metaphysics of Mind mental states faith religion language Commonsense Psychology Ryle Wittgenstein Ordinary Language Representationalism explanation

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.University of LancasterLancasterUnited Kingdom

About the authors

Richard Floyd received his PhD from Lancaster University, UK. He has taught philosophy at the Universities of Lancaster, Manchester, and Cumbria. This is his first book.

Bibliographic information