Many thanks for discussion and criticism of an ancestor of this paper to Fred Adams, Fred Dretske, Berent Ens, Peter Markie, the members of my Mental Causation Seminar, Winter 1995, and an anonymous referee, who all agree that I am wrong, though not why.
The Prospects for Dretske's Account of the Explanatory Role of Belief
Version of Record online: 5 MAY 2007
Mind & Language
Volume 11, Issue 2, pages 203–215, June 1996
How to Cite
MELNYK, A. (1996), The Prospects for Dretske's Account of the Explanatory Role of Belief. Mind & Language, 11: 203–215. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-0017.1996.tb00041.x
- Issue online: 5 MAY 2007
- Version of Record online: 5 MAY 2007
Abstract: When a belief is cited as part of the explanation of an agent's behaviour, it seems that the belief is explanatorily relevant in virtue of its content. In his Explaining Behavior, Dretske presents an account of belief, content, and explanation according to which this can be so. I supply some examples of beliefs whose explanatory relevance in virtue of content apparently cannot be accounted for in the Dretskean way. After considering some possible responses to this challenge, I end by discussing how serious these counterexamples are for Dretske's account.