I came across the article Alief and Belief
by Tamar Szabo Gendler
from Journal of Philosophy 105:10 (2008), 634-663.
After reading it, many thoughts and ideas went through mind. I have wondered many times about the other quality in our epistemic toolkit that causes us to lean one way or the other on an issue when we might have competing authorities, reason, empiricism, etc for the same data or issue. I wonder if from a philosophical perspective, alief is that quality. I imagine that materialists might attempt to explain this in biological terms, not philosophical.
Can anyone appreciate the nuance I am referring to? An example: You have two recognized authorities (scientists) who have done their research, have successfully been published in peer-reviewed journals and they seem to support their position very well. The only problem is that given the same data they come to opposite conclusions. If you choose to accept one view over the other, why? If you can't find holes in their research or if you do, but it is based on your own biases, why do you lean one way or the other in the face of competing evidence?
I feel that many might just say it is all part of reason, but I would like to unpack that. Can we narrow it down to something other than the rational faculties that we are aware of? I believe I read a few years ago that neuroscientists realized that the brain does many more transactions a second than we are consciously aware of. I can imagine biologists using something like this to explain it. But philosophically, might we call it alief?