David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophical Quarterly 62 (249):797-819 (2012)
Suppose you think that whether you believe some proposition A at some future time t might have a causal influence on whether A is true. For instance, maybe you think a woman can read your mind, and either (1) you think she will snap her fingers shortly after t if and only if you believe at t that she will, or (2) you think she will snap her fingers shortly after t if and only if you don't believe at t that she will. Let A be the proposition that she snaps her fingers shortly after t. In case (1), theoretical rationality seems to leave it open whether you should believe A or not. Perhaps, for all it has to say, you could just directly choose whether to believe A. David Velleman seems to be committed to something close to that, but his view has been unpopular. In case (2), you seem to be in a theoretical dilemma, a situation where any attitude you adopt toward A will be self-undermining in a way that makes you irrational. Such theoretical dilemmas ought to be impossible, just as genuine moral dilemmas ought to be impossible, but it is surprisingly hard to show that they are (perhaps because they aren't). I study cases analogous to (1) and (2) in a probabilistic framework where degrees of belief rather than all-or-nothing beliefs are taken as basic. My principal conclusions are that Velleman's view is closer to the truth than it is generally thought to be, that case (2) type theoretical dilemmas only arise for hyperidealised agents unlike ourselves, and that there are related cases that can arise for agents like us that are very disturbing but might not quite amount to theoretical dilemmas
|Keywords||rational feedback self-fulfilling belief self-defeating belief theoretical dilemmas epistemic dilemmas rational dilemmas conditionalization doxastic voluntarism intentions|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Todd Bernard Weber (2002). The Moral Dilemmas Debate, Deontic Logic, and the Impotence of Argument. Argumentation 16 (4):459-472.
Peter Vallentyne (1989). Two Types of Moral Dilemmas. Erkenntnis 30 (3):301 - 318.
Susanne Lohmann (1995). The Poverty of Green and Shapiro. Critical Review 9 (1-2):127-154.
Steven Scalet (2006). Prisoner's Dilemmas, Cooperative Norms, and Codes of Business Ethics. Journal of Business Ethics 65 (4):309 - 323.
Danny Frederick (2013). Doxastic Voluntarism: A Sceptical Defence. International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 3 (1):24-44.
Peter Vallentyne (1992). Moral Dilemmas and Comparative Conceptions of Morality. Southern Journal of Philosophy 30 (1):117-124.
Joe Mintoff (1997). Slote on Rational Dilemmas and Rational Supererogation. Erkenntnis 46 (1):111-126.
Peter Vallentyne (1989). “Two Types of Moral Dilemmas”. Erkenntnis 30 (3):301-318.
H. E. Mason (ed.) (1996). Moral Dilemmas and Moral Theory. Oxford University Press.
Patricia Marino (2001). Moral Dilemmas, Collective Responsibility, and Moral Progress. Philosophical Studies 104 (2):203 - 225.
Richard Foley (1992). Working Without a Net: A Study of Egocentric Epistemology. Oxford University Press.
Jonathan Matheson (2011). The Case for Rational Uniqueness. Logic and Episteme 2 (3):359-373.
Added to index2012-08-05
Total downloads210 ( #16,460 of 1,902,527 )
Recent downloads (6 months)64 ( #5,592 of 1,902,527 )
How can I increase my downloads?