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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

do you believe what you think you believe?

[I]t may be that we do not really have conscious beliefs. There is a strong case for thinking that the only mental states that are conscious are sensory ones and that what we call conscious thoughts are simply sensory images in working memory, typically images of utterances (inner speech) (Carruthers, 2011, 2014). These images may have effects on our behaviour (we ‘hear’ our imaged utterances and respond to what we hear), but they do so only indirectly, through promoting the formation of related unconscious beliefs and desires. If this is right, then all belief is unconscious. We have no conscious access to our own beliefs, and our knowledge of our own minds is derived from rapid but fallible self-interpretation.

Keith Frankish (Belief, willpower, and implicit bias.)

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