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IrrevocableA Philosophy of Mortality$
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Alphonso Lingis

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780226556765

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226557090.001.0001

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(p.97) Belief

Alphonso Lingis

University of Chicago Press

Belief is not simply a mental act, an individual mind taking specific propositions to be true. It is also a social act, a sort of contract, that has practical effects. There are also forms of belief that isolate one from others, eventually from all others. The distinctive core of religion, anthropologist Clifford Geertz says, is belief in a sacred realm that is really real, real in some different sense and different way from the way the common sense world is real. Adherence to authority and belief in the cosmic reality and history are generated by ritual. The tormenting perplexities that confound understanding and threaten the ability of people to orient themselves and act effectively in the world recur today in new forms. There also exist among us practices that are haunted by the existential dilemmas that recur in our secular, scientific society, our globalized postindustrial society.

Keywords:   believing statements, contractual nature of belief, belief and ritual, belief and practice, religious belief, secular belief

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