Colloquium: Aaron Zimmerman (UCSB)

Department: Philosophy

Date and Time: May 12, 2017 | 3:00 PM-5:00 PM

Event Location: HIB 55

Event Details

Title: "A Pragmatic Picture of Belief"

What is pragmatism? According to C.S. Peirce, the school of thought we now know as “pragmatism” began at Harvard University, when Nicholas St. John Green urged the members of the ironically named Metaphysical Club—an august group including both William James and Oliver Wendell Holmes—to accept Alexander Bain’s definition of “belief.”  In a forthcoming book, Belief: A Pragmatic Picture, Oxford UP (2017), I explicate Bain’s theory of belief, update its tenets in light of contemporary cognitive neuroscience, and defend the theory that results against competing conceptions.  My aim in this talk is to describe Bain’s pragmatic account of belief in broad outline and advance an argument for its adoption.