These mental models can also be seen as constellations of ideas. These clusters of ideas are beliefs that we hold.
A variety of academic disciplines have given beliefs (or belief systems) different names and described them in slightly different ways.
Not surprisingly the philosophers have been keenly interested in this area.. Philosophers are always keen to deconstruct and analyze ideas and then use jargon to describe them. Indeed that is what they have done with the notion of beliefs.
Philosophers call a belief a ‘propositional attitude.” In logic, a propulsion is a sentence that asserts a quality or property which can be determined to be either true or false. So having an opinion which can be described with a proposition is a propositional attitude.
Having renamed beliefs to propositional attitudes, philosophers have divided themselves into several different camps with different opinions toward them.
Among these camps are a group of philosophers who believe that the entire concept of these propositional attitudes (i.e. beliefs) is unscientific and therefore of no use at all.
However, the majority of contemporary philosophers regard them as representational systems. Among them, they disagree on whether these representational systems are structures of language or whether they are map-like which is the way I described them above
Beyond these major schools, philosophers have identified a variety of issues and perspectives which split themselves into smaller schools of thought, each with its own name and lexicon. These which are beyond the scope of our discussion but which is well described on this Standford University site
Other academic fields including cognitive psychology (and psychology in general), linguistics, biologists and neuroscience use different terms to describe beliefs and systems of beliefs and also disagree about their nature or whether they should be studied at all.
Subsections of Believing in Your Beliefs