We all do things we believe we shouldn’t do. Do we also believe things we believe we shouldn’t believe? For many of us, the very idea of ‘akrasia’ in belief is deeply puzzling. If we discover compelling evidence that one of our beliefs is mistaken, don’t we give up the belief? Isn’t that how changing our minds works? In this talk titled “Believing Against the Evidence”, Eugene Chislenko argues that a clearer picture of belief can both dissolve and explain that widespread puzzlement, and help us understand a broad range of phenomena, from self-deception to superstition to anorexia.
Eugene Chislenko is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Temple University, where he teaches courses in moral philosophy and its history. His recent work includes “A Solution for Buridan’s Ass” (Ethics, January 2016) and “Moore’s Paradox and Akratic Belief” (Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, May 2016). He is now working on a book manuscript about moral motivation, entitled The Guise of the Good, and a series of essays on the ethics of blame.