In this incisive study one of Britain's most eminent philosophers explores the often overlooked tension between voluntariness and involuntariness in human cognition. He seeks to counter the widespread tendency for analytic epistemology to be dominated by the concept of belief. Is scientific knowledge properly conceived as being embodied at its best, in a passive feeling of belief or in an active policy of acceptance? Should a jury's verdict declare what its meembers involuntarily accept? And should statements and assertions be presumed to express what their authors believe or what they accept? Does such a distinction between belief and acceptance help to resolve the paradoxes of self-deception and akrasia? Must people be taken to believe everything entailed by what they believe, or merely to accept everything entailed by what they accept? Through a systematic examination of these problems, the author sheds new light on issues of crucial importance in comtemporary epistemology, philosophy of mind, and cognitive science. This book is intended for scholars and students in philosophy of mind, epistemology, and cognitive science; also artificial intelligence.
Suitable for students at second- and third-year undergraduate and postgraduate level.
An important, wide-ranging, and remarkably accessible book: highly recommended for all academic libraries. * Humanities * The general shape of Cohen's project is attractive ... this lively and clearly written book is well worth reading by anyone concerned with these issues. * Times Literary Supplement *