Single Idea 12582

[catalogued under 11. Knowledge Aims / A. Knowledge / 4. Belief / a. Beliefs]

Full Idea

Presumably it is a proper function of the belief-manufacturing mechanisms in John to produce beliefs-that-p only if and when p.

Gist of Idea

The function of beliefs is to produce beliefs-that-p when p


Ruth Garrett Millikan (Thoughts without Laws [1986], p.69), quoted by Christopher Peacocke - A Study of Concepts 5.2

Book Reference

Peacocke,Christopher: 'A Study of Concepts' [MIT 1999], p.130

A Reaction

This is the 'teleological' account of belief, which is trying to fit belief into an evolutionary view of humans. It is doubtful whether you can say mental states are just their 'proper' function, because then piano-playing becomes a puzzle.