Two senses of…

The expression of “I’m sorry” has two distinct meanings:

  1. “I’m sorry” denotes sympathy
  2. “I’m sorry” denotes an apology

The expression of “believing in (something)” has two distinct aspects

  1. To believe in something means to have a commitment to saying that the object in question exists, and that we hold this proposition true in our mental furniture as a belief about the true states of affairs.
  2. To believe in something is to have a commitment to a thing in a way beyond some mere trivial fact about our own propositional set of beliefs, but about who we are as people. This latter sense is harder to express.

I think in the expression of “I’m sorry”, both senses can harmlessly be one and the same. One can express “I’m sorry” as an expression of sympathy, while not being culpable or accepting responsibility to the thing in which she is sorry about. This is a harmless expression.

When someone says, however “I believe in God”; I’m sure that they mean it in both senses of the word; and, it is the latter sense in which we should give a story. What is it about belief in something that is consisted within it, to explain what it means when we say something like “I believe in you”, or “I believe in myself”.

Destre (and Michael)


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