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Keyword:  Alief
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Damasio, A. (2006). Descartes' error Revised ed. London: Vintage.  
Added by: sirfragalot 05/11/2012 09:04:40 AM
      "emotion is the combination of a mental evaluative process, simple or complex, with dispositional responses to that process, mostly toward the body proper, resulting in an emotional body state, but also toward the brain itself [...] resulting in additional mental changes."
Szabó Gendler, T. (2010). Intuition, imagination, & philosophical methodology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.  
Last edited by: sirfragalot 04/18/2013 05:40:14 PM
      "A paradigmatic alief is a mental state with associatively linked content that is representational, affective and behavioral, and that is activated--consciously or non-consciously--by features of the subject's internal or ambient environment. Aliefs may be either occurrent or dispositional."

Examples SG gives include refusing to eat fudge shaped like dog faeces (even though you believe it to be be perfectly delicious), fear of walking on glass over a dangerous drop (even though you believe the glass to be safe), refusal to wear the shirt of someone you hate (even though, freshly laundered, you believe it to be clean).

Alief is often, (not always) discordant with belief.
      "alief is associative, action-generating, affect-laden, arational, automatic, agnostic with respect to its content, shared with non-human animals, and developmentally and conceptually antecedent to other cognitive attitudes."
      "if alief drives behavior in belief-discordant cases, it is likely that it drives behavior in belief-concordant cases as well. Belief plays an inportant role in the ultimate regulation of behavior. But it plays a far smaller role in moment-by-moment management than philosophical tradition has tended to stress."
      "Beliefs change in response to changes in evidence; aliefs change in responses to changes in habit. If new evidence won't cause you to change your behavior in response to an apparent stimulus, then your reaction is due to alief rather than belief."
      "The assumption that behavior invariably indicates belief arises from aliefs that are mistaken for beliefs."
      "Imagination [in some cases] gives rise to behavior via alief. What happens in imagination may have (non-pretend) effects beyond imagination--but it does so when the process of imagining activates a subject's innate or habitual propensity to respond to an apparent stimulus in a particular way."
      "Aliefs activate behavioral propensities. So (in conjunction with desire) do beliefs (and their teleofunctional analogues)."

Sometimes these propensities coincide (norm-concordant aliefs may govern the behavioural tendencies); sometimes they are at odds with each other (norm-discordant aliefs govern the behaviour).
      An alief can actually occur when a cluster of dispositions to entertain such aliefs are activated (occurrent alief). A dispositional alief is the propensity for an occurrent alief to take place were the right conditions or external stimulus to occur.

A subject alieves with representational-affective-behavioural content. S alieves R-A-B. SG terms this a four-place relation: "[subject], dog-shit, disgusting, refuse-to-eat" (p.262). SG suggest it can also be, and might be better, described as two-place: "S (occurrently) alieves R when S's R-related associations are activated and thereby rendered cognitively, affectively, and
behaviorally salient" (p.265).
      Aliefs tend to reveal themselves to us precisely when they are discordant with beliefs.
      Alief differs from belief thus:
1. Belief and imagination are propositional.
2. belief and imagination involve acceptance.
3. Alief may be activated non-consciously.
4. Alief may be activated at will.
5. I believe that P and imagine that non-P "violates no norms" (p.271). I believe that P and alieve that non-P -- "something is amiss" (p.271). Norms of cognitive-behavioural coherence are violated.
6. Belief is reality-sensitive, imagination is reality-insensitive. Alief is neither.
      Gives examples of various media, including computer games, that exploit "our tendency to respond to merely apparent stimuli in habitual ways" (p.303).
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