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The paradox of the preface

Mind 79 (316):614-615 (1970)

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  1. The Preface Paradox Dissolved.John N. Williams - 1987 - Theoria 53 (2-3):121-140.
    The preface paradox strikes us as puzzling because we feel that if a person holds a set of inconsistent beliefs, i.e. beliefs such that at least one of them must be correct, then he should give at least one of them up. Equally, if a person's belief is rational, then he has a right to hold it. Yet the preface example is prima facie a case in which a person holds an inconsistent set of beliefs each of which is rational, (...)
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  • Logic of the Preface Paradox.Dale Jacquette - 2008 - Principia 12 (2):203-216.
    http://dx.doi.org/10.5007/1808-1711.2008v12n2p203 The preface paradox is the apparent pragmatic inconsistency that occurs when the author of a book declares in its preface that despite believing that it is highly probable that everything the book maintains is true it is also highly probable that the book contains at least some errors. The preface paradox has often been presented as an example of a logically inconsistent belief that it is nevertheless rational to accept, supporting the suggestion that rationality has nothing immediately to do (...)
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  • This Paper Surely Contains Some Errors.Brian Kim - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (4):1013-1029.
    The preface paradox can be motivated by appealing to a plausible inference from an author’s reasonable assertion that her book is bound to contain errors to the author’s rational belief that her book contains errors. By evaluating and undermining the validity of this inference, I offer a resolution of the paradox. Discussions of the preface paradox have surprisingly failed to note that expressions of fallibility made in prefaces typically employ terms such as surely, undoubtedly, and bound to be. After considering (...)
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