Believe It or Not: On Multiplying Classes of Belief-like States


  • James Robert Thompson Mississippi State University



belief, alief, folk psychology


This paper explores whether it is justified to add any new taxa concerning informational states to our psychological taxonomy. Such exploration will not lead to a straightforward decision between remaining steadfast with the taxonomic status quo and adding only one new taxon. A careful analysis of when one would be warranted in positing a new taxon for informational states will reveal similarly compelling reasons to posit all sorts of additional taxa. As an antidote to such proliferation, I suggest a reinforcement of traditional taxonomies of the mental by allowing belief and a range of extant taxa to play their requisite explanatory roles, thereby obviating the need for the postulation of any novel taxa.


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Author Biography

James Robert Thompson, Mississippi State University

Department of Philosophy and Religion

Associate Professor


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How to Cite

Thompson, J. R. (2017). Believe It or Not: On Multiplying Classes of Belief-like States. Studia Philosophica Estonica, 9(1), 79–110.