A Puzzle About Weak Belief

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I present an intractable puzzle for the currently popular view that belief is weak—the view that expressions like ‘S believes p’ ascribe to S a doxastic attitude towards p that is rationally compatible with low credence that p. The puzzle concerns issues that arise on considering beliefs in conditionals. I show that proponents of weak belief either cannot consistently apply their preferred methodology when accommodating beliefs in conditionals, or they must deny that beliefs in conditionals can be used in reasoning.



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Joshua Edward Pearson
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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References found in this work

A Theory of Conditionals.Robert Stalnaker - 1968 - In Nicholas Rescher (ed.), Studies in Logical Theory. Oxford,: Blackwell. pp. 98-112.
Assertion is weak.Matthew Mandelkern & Kevin Dorst - 2022 - Philosophers' Imprint 22.
Thinking, Guessing, and Believing.Ben Holguin - 2022 - Philosophers' Imprint 22 (1):1-34.
Abominable KK Failures.Kevin Dorst - 2019 - Mind 128 (512):1227-1259.
Good Guesses.Kevin Dorst & Matthew Mandelkern - 2023 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 105 (3):581-618.

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