David Hunter, "On Believing: Being Right in a World of Possibilities" (Oxford UP, 2022)


According to many standard philosophical accounts, beliefs are a kind of stance one takes toward a proposition. To believe that Nashville is in Tennessee is to adopt a certain attitude towards the proposition ‘Nashville is in Tennessee’. One advantage of this view is that it seems to make clear how beliefs can be right or wrong: to believe a proposition that is false is to have a false belief, while to believe a proposition that is true is to have a true belief. But in Philosophy things are never simple. And this kind of account occasions significant difficulties. Given how central the phenomenon of believing is to everything we do, it may seem odd to say that belief is a puzzle. Yet here we are.

On Believing: Being Right in a World of Possibilities (Oxford UP, 2022), David Hunter seeks to sort it all out. He presents a novel theory belief that stands in stark contrast with the standard view. On his view, “To believe something is to be in a position to do, think, and feel things in light of a possibility whose obtaining would make one right.”

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Robert Talisse

Robert Talisse is the W. Alton Jones Professor of Philosophy at Vanderbilt University.

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