Against Motivational Efficacy of Beliefs

Seungbae Park (Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology, Korea, Republic Of)


Danielle Bromwich (2010) argues that a belief is motivationally efficacious in that, other things being equal, it disposes an agent to answer a question in accordance with that belief. I reply that what we are disposed to do is largely determined by our genes, whereas what we believe is largely determined by stimuli from the environment. We have a standing and default disposition to answer questions honestly, ceteris paribus, even before we are exposed to environmental stimuli. Since this standing and default disposition is innate, and our beliefs have their source in environmental stimuli, our beliefs cannot be the source of the disposition. Moreover, a recent finding in neuroscience suggests that motivation is extrinsic to belief.

Article in: English

Article published: 2015-07-15

Keyword(s): belief; desire; disposition; evolution; motivation.

DOI: 10.3846/cpc.2015.215

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Coactivity: Philosophy, Communication / Santalka: Filosofija, Komunikacija ISSN 2029-6320, eISSN 2029-6339
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