Belief is weak

Philosophical Studies 173 (5):1393-1404 (2016)
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Abstract

It is tempting to posit an intimate relationship between belief and assertion. The speech act of assertion seems like a way of transferring the speaker’s belief to his or her audience. If this is right, then you might think that the evidential warrant required for asserting a proposition is just the same as the warrant for believing it. We call this thesis entitlement equality. We argue here that entitlement equality is false, because our everyday notion of belief is unambiguously a weak one. Believing something is true, we argue, is compatible with having relatively little confidence in it. Asserting something requires something closer to complete confidence. Specifically, we argue that believing a proposition merely requires thinking it likely, but that thinking that a proposition is likely does not entitle one to assert it. This conclusion conflict with a standard view that ‘full belief’ is the central commonsense non-factive attitude

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Author Profiles

Levi Spectre
Open University of Israel
John Hawthorne
Australian Catholic University
Daniel Rothschild
University College London

Citations of this work

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References found in this work

Knowledge and its limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Belief, Credence, and Pragmatic Encroachment.Jacob Ross & Mark Schroeder - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (2):259-288.
Meaning.Herbert Paul Grice - 1957 - Philosophical Review 66 (3):377-388.
Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 64 (1):200-201.
Epistemic Modals.Seth Yalcin - 2007 - Mind 116 (464):983-1026.

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