• Kevin McCain
Part of the Springer Undergraduate Texts in Philosophy book series (SUTP)


This chapter explores the nature of belief. An often-overlooked distinction between believing in something and believing that something is true is explored. It is made clear that the first notion of belief is really an expression used to signify trust or faith in something rather than the sort of belief that is a component of knowledge. Once the importance of believing that is made clear the various major accounts of the nature of belief are briefly examined. The chapter concludes by making it clear that the dispositional and representationalist accounts of belief are the best options. In light of this it follows that the best way to understand the belief component of knowledge is either in terms of having certain dispositions or in terms of having certain mental representations of information. Further, it is made clear that we do not need to decide which of these accounts is superior for the purpose of understanding scientific knowledge.


Mental Representation Propositional Attitude Propositional Content Observable Behavior Behavioral Disposition 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kevin McCain
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of Alabama at BirminghamBirminghamUSA

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