Tuesday, August 07, 2007


Again, not much time to post, but I'm looking for a definition of belief that gets at it as a subjective experience.
  • any cognitive content held as true (Wordnet)
  • Mental acceptance of and conviction in the truth, actuality, or validity of something: His explanation of what happened defies belief. (American Heritage)
  • the feeling of certainty that something exists or is true:
    • All non-violent religious and political beliefs should be respected equally.
    • [+ that] It is my (firm) belief that nuclear weapons are immoral.
    • His belief in God gave him hope during difficult times.
    • Recent revelations about corruption have shaken many people's belief in (= caused people to have doubts about) the police.
    • The brutality of the murders was beyond belief (= too difficult to be imagined).
    • He called at her house in the belief that (= confident that) she would lend him the money.
    (Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary)
  • a feeling that something exists or is true, especially one without proof (Compact Oxford English Dictionary)
  • conviction of the truth of some statement or the reality of some being or phenomenon especially when based on examination of evidence (Merriam-Webster)
  • acceptance by the mind that something is true or real, often underpinned by an emotional or spiritual sense of certainty (Encarta)
See also this post where I look for a definition of idea.

1 comment:

Matthew Berryman said...

It exists only insofar as it is consciously experienced, and thus it is in one sense of the words entirely "subjective" and not "objective".

J.R. Searle on pain, from "Mind: a brief introduction"