In Praise of Outsourcing

In: Contemporary Pragmatism
Author: Neil Levy1
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  • 1 Department of philosophy, Macquarie University, Sydney 2019, Australia, and Uehro Centre for Practical Ethics, University of Oxford, OX1 1PT, United Kingdom, neil.levy@philosophy.ox.ac.uk

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What explains the context sensitivity of some (apparent) beliefs? Why, for example, do religious beliefs appear to control behaviour in some contexts but not others? Cases like this are heterogeneous, and we may require a matching heterogeneity of explanations, ranging over their contents, the attitudes of agents and features of the environment. In this paper, I put forward a hypothesis of the last kind. I argue that some beliefs (religious and non-religious) are coupled to cues, which either trigger an internal representation or even partially constitute the beliefs. I show that such coupling will give rise to the context-sensitivity, without entailing that religious believers take a different attitude to belief content.

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