Knowing vs. Believing

I’ve found myself saying I know something but I don’t believe it, or I believe it but I don’t know it. So I started to think about what exactly it was I meant by that. Here’s what I got:

When I know something, I have deemed it true. When I believe something, I behave as though it is true (i.e. I act upon the assumption that something is true).

Here are some examples:

I know that I am right but I don’t believe that I am.

I believe in souls but I don’t know that souls exist.

I know I’m pretty but I don’t believe I am.

I find the distinction an interesting nuance so I thought I’d share. I would love to hear from you if you experience the same dichotomy.

1 Comment

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One response to “Knowing vs. Believing

  1. Daniel

    One of my favorite subjects over the past few months. As described by one of my favorite philosopher Bertrand Russell, one of the more fundamental questions, period.

    I really like using the word, too.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Epistemology

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