Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Belief, a term variously used by philosophers to denote either a state of mind with respect to certain propositions, or the propositions themselves. Usually it means assent on insufficient evidence and is contrasted with knowledge, that term being sometimes restricted to propositions of which the contradictory is inconceivable, i.e. necessary truths like the propositions of arithmetic or geometry. But some intuitionist psychologists regard all our knowledge as based on certain principles involved in the structure of our mind and not based on experience, which they term fundamental, or primary beliefs. In religion the term is used as almost a synonym for faith, i.e. assent (largely coloured with emotion) to propositions, the evidence for which falls short of logical proof. The doctrine of the culpability of wrong belief in religious matters is based on the view that "all assent involves an act of will," a medieval theory which receives some support from current psychology.