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Finkelstein on the Distinction between Conscious and Unconscious Belief

  • Byeong D. Lee (a1)

In a recent article, D. H. Finkelstein offers a new proposal about the distinction between conscious and unconscious belief. On his proposal, someone's belief is conscious if he has an ability to express it simply by self-ascribing it; and someone's belief is unconscious if he lacks such an ability. In this article, I argue that his proposal is inadequate, and then offer a somewhat different proposal. On my proposal, someone's belief is conscious if he has self-ascribed this belief without recourse to any evidence about his behaviour, and someone's belief is unconscious; if it is not conscious.


Dans un récent article, D. H. Finkelstein propose une nouvelle distinction entre croyance consciente et inconsciente. Suivant cette proposition, la croyance de quelqu'un est consciente s'il a la capacité de l'exprimer tout simplement en se l'attribuant; sa croyance est inconsciente s'il n'en a pas la capacité. Dans cet article, je fais valoir que cette proposition est inadéquate, et je propose ensuite une nouvelle distinction. Suivant cette distinction, la croyance de quelqu'un est consciente s'il s'attribue cette croyance sans s'appuyer sur aucun ilement depreuve au sujet de son comportement; sa croyance est inconsciente si elle n'est pas consciente.

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D. W. Hamlyn , The Theory of Knowledge (New York: Doubleday, 1970), p. 98.

Sydney Shoemaker , “Moore's Paradox and Self-Knowledge,” in his The First-Person Perspectives and Other Essays (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996), p. 78.

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Dialogue: Canadian Philosophical Review / Revue canadienne de philosophie
  • ISSN: 0012-2173
  • EISSN: 1759-0949
  • URL: /core/journals/dialogue-canadian-philosophical-review-revue-canadienne-de-philosophie
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