Belief is concerned primarily with the epistemology of belief under two opponent views as to its nature: (1) the traditional view of belief as a mental event (occurrence), and (2) the view of belief as a disposition. Ultimately, Price justifies indulgence in the considerations relating to these two views on the grounds that it will, in the end, enable a distinction to be drawn between ‘belief in’ and ‘belief that’, which in turn will enable him to ‘… pay some attention to the belief “in” a world-outlook or world-view, because this type of belief “in” is an essential part of the religious attitude’. It also serves Lord Gifford’s requirements in allowing Price to discuss self-verifying beliefs and to determine what kind of attitude religious faith is.
The book retains its lecture format despite being extensively revised after its delivery in Aberdeen. It contains both sets of lectures (series 1 and 2), each composed of ten lectures. Lecture 1 raises issues relating to the performatory aspect of first-person belief sentences, highlights the primacy of believing a proposition over believing persons and considers some important issues surrounding degrees of belief. Price analyses complete conviction as the highest degree of belief, nothing short of which he considers worthy of the title.
- Jon Cameron, University of Aberdeen