Lewis on What Puzzling Pierre Does Not Believe

Michael McGlone
State University of New York (SUNY)
In “What Puzzling Pierre Does not Believe”, Lewis ([4], 412‐4) argues that the sentences (1) Pierre believes that London is pretty and (2) Pierre believes that London is not pretty both truly describe Kripke’s well‐known situation involving puzzling Pierre ([3]). Lewis also argues that this situation is not one according to which Pierre believes either the proposition (actually) expressed by (3) London is pretty or the proposition (actually) expressed by (4) London is not pretty. These claims, Lewis suggests, provide a starting point from which a correct resolution of Kripke’s puzzles about belief ([3]) can be developed. At the end of his paper ([4], p. 414‐7), Lewis considers and replies to a number of potential objections to his position. According to one of these, Lewis’s contentions regarding (1)‐(4) cannot all be true because ‘believes that’ and ‘believes the proposition that’ are synonymous. Although the objection Lewis considers is unsound and his response to it correct, a minor variant of that objection provides significant reason to be skeptical of his contentions. This variant, moreover, is not persuasively addressed by anything either Lewis or any other well‐known defender of this sort of view (such as Stalnaker [8]) has had to say on the matter. All of this is relevant, moreover, not 2 only when it comes to assessing Lewis’s contentions regarding (1)‐ (4), but also when it comes to drawing lessons from certain standard objections to the view that the propositional objects of belief and assertion are sets of metaphysically possible worlds.
Keywords David Lewis  Robert Stalnaker  Propositions as Sets of Possible Worlds  Kripke's Puzzle About Belief
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 35,905
External links

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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

As Good as It Gets: Lewis on Truth in Fiction.Richard Hanley - 2004 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 82 (1):112 – 128.
Lewis on Intentionality.Robert Stalnaker - 2004 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 82 (1):199 – 212.
Ways Things Can't Be.Greg Restall - 1997 - Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 38 (4):583-596.
What Puzzling Pierre Does Not Believe.David Lewis - 1981 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 59 (3):283 – 289.
How to Refrain From Answering Kripke's Puzzle.Lewis Powell - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 161 (2):287-308.


Added to PP index

Total downloads
52 ( #124,851 of 2,293,880 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #410,511 of 2,293,880 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature