Belief and the limits of irrationality


(I) It is commonly held that a person cannot wittingly hold false or inconsistent beliefs. Edgley has argued that this follows from the normative implications involved in the concept of belief and the concept of a proposition, as expressed in the analytic principle 'if p, then it is right to think that p\ (II) But the principle, when taken in its analytic sense, does not have the required implications; and taken in the sense in which it would have those implications it is neither analytic nor true. (III) A person can not only hold a false belief wittingly, he can assert that he does. Examples are given to exhibit the legitimacy of the claim that such irrationality does not necessarily dissolve when recognized for what it is. (IV) The phenomenon of self-confessed irrationality involves the fusion of two general features of mental life. It comprises a mental state over whose existence one has no control, but which one can in some way detach oneself from and be critical of.

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A Critique of Popper's Conception of the Relationship Between Logic, Psychology, and a Critical Epistemology.John Krige - 1978 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 21 (1-4):313 – 335.
I. Graham on the Logic of Belief.John Krige - 1976 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 19 (1-4):355-360.

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