Moore's Paradox in Thought: A Critical Survey

Philosophy Compass 10 (1):24-37 (2015)
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Abstract

It is raining but you don’t believe that it is raining. Imagine silently accepting this claim. Then you believe both that it is raining and that you don’t believe that it is raining. This would be an ‘absurd’ thing to believe,yet what you believe might be true. Itmight be raining, while at the same time, you are completely ignorant of the state of the weather. But how can it be absurd of you to believe something about yourself that might be true of you? This is Moore’s paradox as it occurs in thought. Solving the paradox consists in explaining why such beliefs are absurd. I give a survey of some of the main explanations. I largely deal with explanations of the absurdity of ‘omissive’ beliefs with contents of the form p & I don’t believe that p and of ‘commissive beliefs’ with contents of the form p & I believe that not-p as well as beliefs with contents of the form p & I don’t know that p.

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John N. Williams
Singapore Management University

Citations of this work

Endorsement and Assertion.Will Fleisher - 2021 - Noûs 55 (2):363-384.
Higher-Order Evidence.Daniel Whiting - 2021 - Analysis 80 (4):789-807.
The Normative Error Theorist Cannot Avoid Self-Defeat.Spencer Case - 2020 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 98 (1):92-104.
Explaining Enkratic Asymmetries: Knowledge-First Style.Paul Silva - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (11):2907-2930.
True Lies and Moorean Redundancy.Alex Wiegmann & Emanuel Viebahn - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):13053-13066.

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References found in this work

Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Oxford University Press.
The Foundations of Statistics.Leonard J. Savage - 1954 - Wiley Publications in Statistics.
Knowledge and Lotteries.John Hawthorne - 2003 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Epistemology and Cognition.Alvin Ira Goldman - 1986 - Cambridge, MA, USA: Harvard University Press.

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