Belief


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Edmund Husserl argued that belief Husserl called the fundamental belief "ur-doxa" underlies one's framework of thinking and it exists at the deeper level of consciousness without one realizing what it is. Some philosophers consciously cast doubts on whatever is commonly held in order to find the secure point of departure in philosophy. A well known example is Descartes ' methodic doubt. There is a degree of awareness of what one believes. Some beliefs come to the foreground of thought and one is fully aware of the fact that one believes in certain matters. Some beliefs, however, go to the background of thought and constitute the framework of thinking.

People believe in them without realizing that they have those beliefs. Philosophy is, in a certain sense, a series of attempts to disclose unjustified or unsound beliefs his or her predecessors held without realizing what they were. A new approach of philosophy emerges when unrealized presuppositions are brought into the foreground and the so-called paradigm changes. The radical paradigm shift often involves examination and realization of what predecessors took it for granted.

In religious practices such as Zen Buddhism, practitioners are asked to reflect upon oneself to realize one's beliefs that are held blindly. Zen teachings shed light on those beliefs that are held blindly and teaches that that those beliefs are unsound causes of worry and suffering. Zen's teaching of "non-thinking" or suspension of thinking is an attempt to allow the practitioner to realize the unsoundness of his or her blind beliefs and see from the perspective of Buddhism. Some philosophers consciously used doubt in order to secure a foundation of thought.

Descartes ' methodic doubt is a typical example. He cast doubt on everything dubitable, the existence and identity of people and things he perceived in the external world, consistence and validity of rational principles, and others. Through a series of thought experiments, Descartes claimed to have reached the indubitable truth that his existence is certain as far as he is doubting something.


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The well known phrase " Cogito ergo sum " "I think, therefore I am" indicates the point Descartes was convinced to be indubitable. Augustine , who preceded Descartes, also discussed the intricate relationship between doubt and the certainty of self-existence.


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  • Augustine pointed out that one's existence is certain as far as one doubts something. Early Husserl also used a similar method of doubt in order to find the secure point of departure. Referring to Descartes, Husserl called his method the "Cartesian path. In a general sense, " skepticism " or "scepticism" Greek: skeptomai, to look about, to consider refers to any doctrine or way of thought denying the ability of our mind to reach certainty. Originating in the human tendency to question the reliability of any statement before accepting it, skepticism has taken on a variety of forms.

    It can refer both to an attitude in ordinary life and to philosophical positions. Skepticism is often contrasted with dogmatism, the position that certain truths can be reached by the application of an appropriate method.

    Epistemology , the inquiry into the conditions for certainty in knowing, has led practically every thinker to adopt, at least temporarily, some form of limited skepticism in one regard or another. And some of the greatest philosophers, such as David Hume , have come to the conclusion that certain knowledge is essentially unattainable.

    Belief and Certainty - New World Encyclopedia

    By its very nature, skepticism is unsatisfactory as an end result. In any case, however, skepticism has played an irreplaceable role as a catalyst in the history of philosophy. Mainstream psychology and related disciplines have traditionally treated belief as if it were the simplest form of mental representation and therefore one of the building blocks of conscious thought. Philosophers have tended to be more rigorous in their analysis and much of the work examining the viability of the belief concept stems from philosophical analysis. The concept of belief presumes a subject the believer and an object of belief the proposition so like other propositional attitudes, belief implies the existence of mental states and intentionality , both of which are hotly debated topics in the philosophy of mind and whose foundations and relation to brain states are still controversial.

    Beliefs are sometimes divided into core beliefs those which one may be actively thinking about and dispositional beliefs those which one may ascribe to but have never previously thought about. For example, if asked, "do you believe tigers wear pink pajamas? Send us feedback. See more words from the same century. More Definitions for belief.

    John Mayer - Belief w/lyrics

    See the full definition for belief in the English Language Learners Dictionary. Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with belief. Spanish Central: Translation of belief. Nglish: Translation of belief for Spanish Speakers.

    2. Types, Degrees, and Relatives of Belief

    Britannica English: Translation of belief for Arabic Speakers. What made you want to look up belief? Please tell us where you read or heard it including the quote, if possible. Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


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    What Does it Mean to Say "I Believe" Something Is True?

    You all would not have guessed some of these. Some imitative words are more surprising than others. How to use a word that literally drives some people nuts. The awkward case of 'his or her'. It's a bird? It's a plane? No, I'm really asking. What is it? Test your knowledge of words related to the season of longer days and vacations. Test your vocabulary with our question quiz! Definition of belief.

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