Analysis 67 (294):170–172 (2007)
|Abstract||Frank Ramsey (1931) wrote: If two people are arguing 'if p will q?' and both are in doubt as to p, they are adding p hypothetically to their stock of knowledge and arguing on that basis about q. We can say that they are fixing their degrees of belief in q given p. Let us take the first sentence the way it is often taken, as proposing the following test for the acceptability of an indicative conditional: ‘If p then q’ is acceptable to a subject S iff, were S to accept p and consider q, S would accept q. Now consider an indicative conditional of the form (1) If p, then I believe p. Suppose that you accept p and consider ‘I believe p’. To accept p while rejecting ‘I believe p’ is tantamount to accepting the Moore-paradoxical sentence ‘p and I do not believe p’, and so is irrational. To accept p while suspending judgment about ‘I believe p’ is irrational for similar reasons. So rationality requires that if you accept p and consider ‘I believe p’, you accept ‘I believe p’.|
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