Monday, September 06, 2021

What is Belief? Call for Abstract Submissions

Editors: Eric Schwitzgebel (Department of Philosophy, University of California, Riverside); Jonathan Jong (Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations, Coventry University)

We are inviting abstract submissions for a volume of collected essays on the question "What is belief?". Each essay will propose a definition and theory of belief, setting out criteria for what constitutes belief. Candidate criteria might include, for example, causal history, functional or inferential role, representational structure, correctness conditions, availability to consciousness, responsiveness to evidence, situational stability, or resistance to volitional change.

Each essay should also at least briefly address the following questions:

(1.) How does belief differ from other related mental states (e.g., acceptance, imagination, assumption, judgment, credence, faith, or guessing)?

(2.) How does the proposed theory handle "edge cases" or controversial cases (e.g., delusions, religious credences, implicit biases, self-deception, know-how, awareness of swiftly forgotten perceptual details)?

Although not required, some preference will be given to those that also address:

(3.) What empirical support, if any, is there for the proposed theory of belief? What empirical tests or predictions might provide further support?

(4.) What practical implications follow from accepting the proposed theory of belief as opposed to competitor theories?

The deadline for abstracts (< 1,000 words) is December 1, 2021.

Applicants selected to contribute to the volume will be awarded £2,000 (essay length 6,000-10,000 words) by February 1, 2023. The essay will then undergo a peer review process prior to publication.  Funded by the Templeton Foundation.

For more information and to submit abstracts, email eschwitz at domain ucr dot edu.

[image modified from source]


  1. At my age can I recommend an Glenda Satne...
    ...swipe-rt click-go to,

    That at the heart of belief is the question of ones own existence... be or to be lieve(dear)...

    Isn't Impericalnesses most definitive actual meaning, one-self first...
    ...then from this intentionality others could be recognized as their-selves...

  2. Sounds fun professor! The thing that bugs me about a modern collection of academic notions on “belief” however, is that the field of psychology has no generally accepted model from which to support such notions. Ideally we’d begin with an experimentally successful model of our nature and then design various associated terms around that premise. What are the chances that someone could develop a generally effective conception of “belief” without an effective but wider model of our nature to base it upon?

    Though I suspect it won’t be appropriate for this volume of collected essays, I plan to get you an abstract for a reasonably comprehensive account of our nature which details “belief” on that basis.

  3. ...psychologists and philosophers could allow awareness to stand for meta-physics today...

    That aware, inner, outer living are 'independent formations of reality'...

    Then we could all face any kind of tension the universe puts in front of us...

  4. Thanks for the comments, folks! And yes, Phil E, an abstract from you would be welcome!