Belief, Credence, and the Preface Paradox

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (3):549-562 (2016)
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Abstract

ABSTRACTMany discussions of the ‘preface paradox’ assume that it is more troubling for deductive closure constraints on rational belief if outright belief is reducible to credence. I show that this is an error: we can generate the problem without assuming such reducibility. All that we need are some very weak normative assumptions about rational relationships between belief and credence. The only view that escapes my way of formulating the problem for the deductive closure constraint is in fact itself a reductive view: namely, the view that outright belief is credence 1. However, I argue that this view is unsustainable. Moreover, my version of the problem turns on no particular theory of evidence or evidential probability, and so cannot be avoided by adopting some revisionary such theory. In sum, deductive closure is in more serious, and more general, trouble than some have thought.

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Alex Worsnip
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Citations of this work

Can Pragmatists Be Moderate?Alex Worsnip - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 102 (3):531-558.
On the Independence of Belief and Credence.Elizabeth Jackson - 2022 - Philosophical Issues 32 (1):9-31.
Justification, knowledge, and normality.Clayton Littlejohn & Julien Dutant - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (6):1593-1609.
Being More Realistic About Reasons: On Rationality and Reasons Perspectivism.Clayton Littlejohn - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 99 (3):605-627.

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References found in this work

Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Oxford University Press.
Knowledge and Lotteries.John Hawthorne - 2003 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Knowledge and Practical Interests.Jason Stanley - 2005 - Oxford University Press.
Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Philosophy 76 (297):460-464.
Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2005 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 70 (2):452-458.

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