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A New Puzzle about Believed Fallibility

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 April 2009

Yitzhak Benbaji
Affiliation:
Bar-Ilan University and Shalom Hartman Institute

Abstract

I shall consider the phenomenon of believing ourselves to have at least one false belief: a phenomenon I call believed fallibility. I shall first present a paradoxical argument which appears to show that believed fallibility is incoherent; second, note that this argument assumes that we are committed to the conjunction of all our beliefs; third, sketch a more intuitive notion of commitment in which we are not committed to the conjunction of all our beliefs and argue that the original paradoxical argument is now defused; fourth, construct a new paradoxical argument showing that if we believe that we have at least one false belief we are committed to a contradiction, employing the preferable notion of commitment; and, fifth, suggest that perhaps we might avoid the new paradox by denying that closing our beliefs under conjunction is required by rationality.

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Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Canadian Philosophical Association 2006

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