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Belief – A Pragmatic Picture - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Belief: A Pragmatic Picture

Aaron Z. Zimmerman


Have you ever called yourself a “pragmatist”? Have you ever wondered what that means? The author traces the origins of pragmatism to a theory of belief defended by the nineteenth-century Scottish philosopher Alexander Bain, and defends it in light of contemporary cognitive neuroscience, social psychology, and evolutionary biology. Pragmatists define our beliefs in terms of information poised to guide our more attentive, controlled actions. The author describes the consequences of this definition for the reader’s thinking on the relation between psychology and philosophy, the mind and brain, th ... More

Keywords: belief, attention, self-control, information, pragmatism, morality, racism, self-deception, Alexander Bain, William James

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9780198809517
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2018 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198809517.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Aaron Z. Zimmerman, author
University of California, Santa Barbara