Thursday, June 26, 2008

Meta Coherence

On the issue of meta coherence raised by Richard Chappell
As a reflective agent, to truly believe something you must consider it to be epistemically superior to its negation. You must therefore hold that anyone who believes otherwise is ipso facto your epistemic inferior in this respect.

clark makes the interesting comment
1. On fundamental issues I don’t think arguments are justified.
2. You say I should not believe when I don’t have sufficient justification.
3. Therefore I should not believe any of the fundamental issues in philosophy.
4. Fundamental issues in philosophy determine higher order justification.
5. Therefore I shouldn’t believe higher order beliefs. (Such as whether there is a cup in front of me)
6. Therefore your reasoning leads to pyrrhonic disbelief.
7. (6) is ludicrous therefore I call (2) into question

I have to say I'm sympathetic to Clark

the point Richard disputes is (1) and I am unsure if I agree on Clark there BUT I USED to believe it AND I am unsure if I don't think could defend it with logic which raises the circular issue of Richard's own argument arguing that I should not believe it!

I don't particularly like the idea of appeals to ludicrousness so I'd phrase it more in terms of "this view is completely impractical, and is based on a misconception of what 'belief' is.
I definitely believe some things that are not rationally justified and I see no contradiction there. It is also 'rational' for me to value something like 'having useful beliefs' such as alternatives to radical skepticism while recognizing that radical skepticism MAY be the best supported argument via evidence. that is because like with Pascal's wager - there is hardly anything to be gained by being right about radical skepticism while it is useful to be right about some other theories.


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