List of Articles

Subject of this site

The articles on this site are concerned with the nature of belief. If you have an interest in the subject of belief and-or have an established interest in philosophy this site might interest you. This site consists of commentaries on the nature of belief, how belief is shaped, the utility of belief, the concept of degrees or strength of belief, testing of beliefs, the consequences of uncertainty, science as a belief system, touches on beliefs in the social domain. There is a developing argument about why we should be prepared to change our beliefs.

A Pragamtic or Empirical Relativism

Relativism receives a rough time from the critics (such as Richard Dawkins and Joseph Ratzinger) who perceive it as a philosophy of 'anything goes' or as a claim that 'nobody really knows anything better than anyone else' or even as a failure to have faith. Consequently we can encounter hollow and emotive phrases such as 'the mire or relativism' or 'descent into relativism'. My favourite trophy phrase however is "charges of relativism", which implies that to engage in relativism is a kind of 'thought crime' punishable by philosophical alienation.

The articles on this site should be read in their totality as polemic in defense of a theory of knowledge that explicitly combines relativism, pragmatism, utilitarianism, and empiricism in a way which I think of as Empirical Relativism. It is not my aim to produce a historically balanced or encyclopaedic source on this matter or an attempt to teach anyone, it is merely an argument for thinking in a particular way.

Practical Use of the Site

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List of Articles

The Messy World Of Observation
Utility and the Experiment of Living
Empirical Relativism
Definitions of Belief and Problems of Categorisation
Probably True
Cognitive Illusion and Conditioned Probability

Belief Testing

The Unknown in Real and Philosophical Gambling
Science and Engineering
Requirement for a Philosophy and Science of Life in Matters of Belief
Acquisition and Loss of Belief
Comments on Religious Belief
Definitions of Faith
The Social Domain
Respect and Disrespect
Changing Our Beliefs
References to Other Internet Sites
Relevant Quotations

Other Information

About the Author

Reader Responses and Subsequent Comments from the Author

Excerpt of feedback from Reg: Wonderful site, really fine writing, thinking and a welcome tone that speaks thoughtfully without the tone of condemnation of the the other. Part of my Response: You have understood why I have written these articles!

If you would like to respond please feel free to contact me at contact(at)onblief.org I am happy to discuss the ideas expressed on this site with religious and non-religious people alike. However, please to not waste your time trying to convert me to your particular religious perspective. If you have been personally insulted by what I have written you have my sincere apologies for I seek to challenge rather than insult. I can say very little to those who see all challenges to their beliefs as an insult, especially if those challenges come in the form of newspaper cartoons. Otherwise your comment is very welcome. Please indicate if your response is not intended for publication on this site.

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On the Philosophy of Belief
Scotland, 12th October 2007 and thereafter
Copyright 2007 onwards

contact (at) onbelief.org