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September 23rd, 2006

Two Links

I’d drafted a long post on doxastic voluntarism and stuff, only to find this paper by Matthias Steup that makes some of the same points. I think I disagree with him over a few points, especially concerning the response to Feldman, but I agree with a lot of what he says. Much much more on this tomorrow.

In the meantime, here’s a comic strip about pig philosophy that’s pretty funny. If you click through the link you’ll find a whole bunch of funny comic strips, which is convenient if you’re looking for new ways to put off jobs that really need to be finished over the weekend. (Hat tip: Geoff Pullum.)

Posted by Brian Weatherson in Uncategorized

2 Comments »

This entry was posted on Saturday, September 23rd, 2006 at 6:28 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

2 Responses to “Two Links”

  1. YuGuo says:

    Hi Brian, would you also consider the following dialogue to be funny?

    A: Do you know that you have hands?
    B: Of course.
    A: Now, for any q, do you know that you have hands or q?
    B: Yes.
    A: Is that what your intuition tells you?
    B: Sure.
    A: So, do you know that you have hands or 3+2=9?
    B: Yes I know.
    A: Do you know that you have hands or up to 5% carbon dioxide in medicine is added to pure oxygen for stimulation of breathing after apnea and to stabilize the O2/CO2 balance in blood?
    B: Yes I know. See, I’m not really interested in whatever follows the word ‘or’. If I know p, I know p or q, whatever that q is.
    A: So, do you know that you have hands or you are not undetectably deceived into falsely believing that you have hands?
    B: Of course I know, given what I just said!
    A: Is that what your intuition tells you?
    B: Yes!!
    A: Now, let me ask you this question: Do you know that you are not handless or you are not undetectably deceived into falsely believing that you have hands?
    B: Surely I know, because ‘you are not handless’ is the same thing as ‘you have hands’!
    A: Do you agree that (~a V ~b) is logically equivalent to ~(a & b)?
    B: Yes, that’s a logical truth.
    A: Now, answer this: You think you have hands, but do you really know that it is not the case that you are in fact handless and you are just undetectably deceived into falsely believing that you have hands?
    B: Well.. I guess I can’t know that.
    A: Is that what your intuition tells you?
    B: Yes. My intuition says that I cannot know myself not to be the victim of an undetectable deception.
    A: So is your intuition saying that you know (~a V ~b), but do not know ~(a & b)?
    B: ……

    I thought this dialogue might be of interest to you, since you’ve often been characterized as arguing that some intuitions should be “trumped”, and my position with regard to the above case is that the last intuition (that I do not know ~(a & b)) should also be trumped. In case you’re interested, my paper on this can be found at
    http://fleetwood.baylor.edu/certain_doubts/?p=618#comments

    (Sorry shameless advertising there)

  2. Brian Weatherson says:

    I don’t really have the intuition that you don’t know these brain-in-vat type propositions, so I’m not really the best person to ask I guess. I think there are some intuitive (but pretty clearly false) principles that entail you don’t know this, but I don’t at all find it intuitive that you don’t. So maybe it needs someone with more refined intuitions.

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