The Puzzle of Belief

Neil Van Leeuwen, Tania Lombrozo

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The notion of belief appears frequently in cognitive science. Yet it has resisted definition of the sort that could clarify inquiry. How then might a cognitive science of belief proceed? Here we propose a form of pluralism about believing. According to this view, there are importantly different ways to "believe" an idea. These distinct psychological kinds occur within a multi-dimensional property space, with different property clusters within that space constituting distinct varieties of believing. We propose that discovering such property clusters is empirically tractable, and that this approach can help sidestep merely verbal disputes about what constitutes “belief.”.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere13245
JournalCognitive science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Artificial Intelligence


  • Attitudes
  • Belief
  • Epistemology


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