Workshop GRIN: “On Being a Believer”, David Hunter (Ryerson)

David Hunter (Ryerson) – On Being a Believer


Date: 22 novembre 2019, 13h-18h30
Salle/Room: A-2407, pavillon Maximilien-Caron, Université de Montréal (3101, chemin de la tour, Montréal, Qc.)

Résumé/Abstract: This book is about being a believer, about having a cognitive perspective on the world.

The leading idea is simple enough: to believe something is to be right or wrong, correct or incorrect, about how things are. But to fill out this idea, to say what makes believing different from other mental states, to see what difference believing makes, and to understand why there are things a person ought to believe, we need to combine the logical and psychological aspects of believing. Here is the combination I explore.

At its heart, believing concerns a contrast between actuality and possibility, between ways things are and ways they might have been. A person who knows how things are has a grasp of what is actual. One who merely believes has a grasp of what is possible. If she is right, then the possibility she has grasped obtains, though because she merely believes it she does not know it. Still, what she has grasped is the very thing grasped by one who does know it. If, on the other hand, our mere believer is wrong, then she has anyway still got hold of a way that things might have been, even though things are not that way. But even here, she has grasped the very thing a knower of it would have grasped. So in either case, a mere believer has got hold of a possibility, a way things are or might have been. In this sense, the objects of believing are possibilities, just as the objects of knowing are facts.

Detailed abstract: On-Being-a-Believer-ABSTRACT

Chair/organizer: Charles Côté-Bouchard (

Introduction by David Hunter (Ryerson)
Miriam McCormick (Richmond)
Aude Bandini (UdeM)

Coffee break

Stephanie Leary (McGill)
Ulf Hlobil (Concordia)
KEYNOTE: David Hunter (Ryerson)

Pour plus d’informations ou pour obtenir une copie du manuscrit, contactez/For more information or to get a copy of the manuscript, write to: