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The Notion of True Belief - Essay Example

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The Notion of True Belief

This paper will begin with a brief introduction to some of the crucial, but general aspects of the author’s position, and in turn, proceed to a more pointed discussion of the nature of the notion of belief, according to Audi. According to Audi, the notion of ‘belief’ can loosely be translated as opinion or belief, and it is a term which comes from the Ancient Greek. To claim, or to maintain that there is an ideal form of a belief, is to defend the belief in some sense. For Audi , he presents at the first level, the notion of a belief in terms of the connection with the notion of knowledge “through acquaintance” [Audi, 2003, p. 36], which is a notion which was developed by Russell. He argues that there is sufficient evidence, through the knowledge by acquaintance notion that a belief is justified as a form of knowledge if the object of the belief in question has some form of ‘propositional content’ or “inference from propositions about them” [Audi, 2003, p. 36]. That is, where there is a correspondence between the propositional content on the one hand, and on the other hand, the belief which there is supposed to be a relation with. For example, and in keeping with Russell’s notion of acquaintance, there is a difference between the propositional content of a sensible referent, and one which is connected with rationality or mathematics [Audi, 2003, p. 58]. That is, if I can say that I believe that the sun will rise tomorrow, it follows that the propositional content of the belief in question refers to a sensible phenomena on the one hand, and the laws of probability or the nature of experience which would lead me to believe in such a proposition [Audi, 2003, p. 37]. However, those which are connected with acquaintance are a form of knowledge where the propositional content does not necessarily have a sensible referent involved. For example, the belief in the truth of a mathematical proposition. For example, it might be said that the proposition F(N){N +1 + 1 . . .}, is a proposition which has a potentially infinite chain of sequences of integers which will follow. This is an example of knowledge by acquaintance in the following regard: first, it is not a form of propositional content which has a truth which is guaranteed through experience, and second, it is obvious that nobody could experience this in the first place. However, there is the experience of acquaintance. That is, the familiarity with the mathematical reasoning involved with the proposition. That is, where the consequence which cannot necessarily be demonstrated through ‘sense’, can be demonstrated by the very rules of mathematics. As is noted by Audi, this has always been an important aspect for the consideration of theological or religious questions in the “medieval” context, which he describes in terms of the “analytic” dimensions of the concept of belief [Audi, 2003, p. 97]. As Audi points out in these pages, the notion of form which is connected to analytic truths are important in a number of senses which are germane to the notion of acquaintance. As a form of knowledge which is of rational truths, it is not the case that the truths are guaranteed by anything more than the rules which govern the given proposition, and it is important that they are known to be beyond sense experience, and hence, beyond the form of reductive thinking which ...Show more


The focus of the following analysis is toward the aim and the goal of understanding that the belief in 'x' is necessary, but not a sufficient condition for the validity or justification/knowledge of x. Therefore, the claim that a justified true belief is both necessary and sufficient is false…
Author : cecilia24
The Notion of True Belief essay example
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