Ideas from 'Thoughts without Laws' by Ruth Garrett Millikan [1986], by Theme Structure

[found in 'Philosophical Review' (ed/tr -) [- ,]].

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11. Knowledge Aims / A. Knowledge / 4. Belief / a. Beliefs
The function of beliefs is to produce beliefs-that-p when p
                        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.
                        From: Ruth Garrett Millikan (Thoughts without Laws [1986], p.69), quoted by Christopher Peacocke - A Study of Concepts 5.2
                        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.