Philosophers are used to talking and thinking about beliefs. Nowadays, thanks to the pioneering work of Tamar Gendler, most of us are comfortable talking about aliefs. But that was just the start of the alphabet…
The ABCs of Belief
by Willie Costello
1. the generic mental attitude or state of mind of taking to be the case or regarding as true
Philosophers are used to talking and thinking about beliefs. Nowadays, thanks to the pioneering work of Tamar Gendler, most of us are comfortable talking about aliefs. But that was just the start of the alphabet. In the years since Gendler’s article, epistemologists and philosophers of mind have identified a number of new kinds of beliefs and belief-like states. It can all be a bit much to keep up with. What follows is a compendium of the latest terminology in the literature, as a reference guide for the rest of us.
aliefs automatic or habitual belief-like attitudes, esp. ones that are in tension with one’s (explicitly held) beliefs
beliefs (see above)
celiefs visual beliefs (also seeliefs)
deliefs what besires should have been called
e-liefs those things that robots think
ehliefs those things that Canadians think, y’know?
heliefs those things that that guy who’s always mansplaining to you is thinking
Iliefs first-personal beliefs (e.g., ‘Cogito’, ‘Sum’)
meliefs first-personal beliefs, when one does not know that one is speaking of oneself
oliefs beliefs that take a while to come to but eventually finally click (also ooohliefs)
pliefs a conditional belief’s antecedent
qliefs a conditional belief’s consequent
reliefs beliefs that you always feared were false but, phew, turned out to be true
tealiefs prophetic beliefs about one’s future
uliefs second-personal beliefs (e.g., ‘Cogitas’; ‘Es’)
vliefs disjunctive beliefs (cf. &liefs)
weeliefs those things that children think
xliefs beliefs that you previously held and are no longer on good terms with
yliefs beliefs expressing one’s existential angst, nihilism, or general Weltschmerz (also whyliefs)
zliefs beliefs that are behaviorally indistinguishable from ordinary beliefs but lacking in any phenomenological content
There is, of course, no reason to suppose that the above list is complete. Future additions and discoveries can sent to Willie Costello.
 Gendler, T. S. (2008). ‘Alief and belief.’ Journal of Philosophy 105: 634–663.
 Pace Altham, J. (1986). ‘The legacy of emotivism.’ In L. MacDonald and C. Wright (eds.), Fact, Science and Morality, 275–288. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
 See Anscombe, G. E. M. (1975). ‘The first person’. In S. Guttenplan (ed.), Mind and Language, 45–65. Oxford: Oxford University Press.