An Ambiguity in Egan’s Concept of Belief

  • L. Jonathan Cohen
Part of the Annals of Theoretical Psychology book series (AOTP, volume 4)


A distinction has to be drawn between the concept of belief and the concept of acceptance. Even though the English words belief and acceptance may not have sufficiently uniform uses to carry the whole weight of the distinction, at least they ought not to be used interchangeably in this context: the underlying differences in conception are quite important. The main points to be noted are as follows, but further consequences are explored in Cohen (1983a).


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  1. Cohen, L. J. (1979). On the psychology of prediction: Whose is the fallacy? Cognition, 7, 385–407CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Cohen, L. J. (1981). Can human irrationality be experimentally demonstrated? Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 4, 317–370.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Cohen, L. J. (1982). Are people programmed to commit fallacies? Further thoughts about the interpretation of experimental data on probability judgment. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, 12, 251–274.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Cohen, L. J. (1983a). Belief, acceptance and probability. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 6, 248–249.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cohen, L. J. (1983b). The controversy about irrationality. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 6, 510–515.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Jonathan Cohen
    • 1
  1. 1.The Queen’s CollegeOxfordUK

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