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Gendler, Tamar Szabó, , . Alief and Belief
2008, Journal of Philosophy 105 (10): 634-663.
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Abstract: I introduce and argue for the importance of a cognitive state that I call alief. Paradigmatic alief can be characterized as a mental state with associatively-linked content that is representational, affective and behavioral, and that is activated – consciously or unconsciously – by features of the subject’s internal or ambient environment. Alief is a more primitive state than either belief or imagination: it directly activates behavioral response patterns (as opposed to motivating in conjunction with desire or pretended desire.) I argue that alief explains a large number of otherwise perplexing phenomena and plays a far larger role in causing behavior than has typically been recognized by philosophers. I argue further that the notion can be invoked to explain both the effectiveness and the limitations of certain sorts of example-based reasoning, and that it lies at the core of habit-based views of ethics.

Comment: In this influential paper, Gendler argues for the existence of an important cognitive states that she calls alief. It is a highly-relevant material for teachings on many topics, for example forms of belief, rationality and belief, varieties of irrationality, implicit bias and etc, in upper-division undergraduate courses and postgraduate courses.

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Gendler, Tamar Szabó, , . Alief in Action (and Reaction)
2008, Mind and Language 23 (5): 552- 585
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Abstract: I introduce and argue for the importance of a cognitive state that I call alief. An alief is, to a reasonable approximation, an innate or habitual propensity to respond to an apparent stimulus in a particular way. Recognizing the role that alief plays in our cognitive repertoire provides a framework for understanding reactions that are governed by nonconscious or automatic mechanisms, which in turn brings into proper relief the role played by reactions that are subject to conscious regulation and deliberate control.

Comment: This is an introductory paper on alief. It provides an account of alief and argues for its role in governing non-conscious or automatic actions. The paper is useful for teachings on philosophy of action, mental attitudes, moral philosophy, social psychology, etc.

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Gendler, Tamar Szabó, , . On the Epistemic Costs of Implicit Bias
2011, Philosophical Studies 156 (1): 33-63.
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Summary: Tamar Gendler argues that, for those living in a society in which race is a salient sociological feature, it is impossible to be fully rational: members of such a society must either fail to encode relevant information containing race, or suffer epistemic costs by being implicitly racist.

Comment: In this paper, Gendler argues that there is an epistemic costs for being racists. It is a useful material for teachings on philosophy of bias, social psychology, epistemology and etc. Note that there are two nice comments on this paper: one is Andy Egan (2011) "Comments on Gendler's 'the epistemic costs of implicit bias', the other is Joshua Mugg (2011) "What are the cognitive costs of racism? a reply to Gendler". Those two papers can be used togehter with Gendler's paper in increasing a dynamic of debate.

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