By Peter A. French, Howard K. Wettstein
Fact and Its Deformities is the thirty second quantity within the Midwest reports in Philosophy sequence. It includes significant new contributions on various issues regarding the final topic of the quantity via the most very important philosophers writing on fact in recent times.
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Extra info for Truth and its Deformities
3. This intention would not be answerable to the truth of the relevant belief. 4. Intention is answerable to the same considerations as its object. “Answerability” is a matter of subjection to standards of justification or warrant: belief is answerable to the truth in that, by nature, its justification rests on meeting standards of consistency and evidential support that have to do with truth (Hieronymi 2006, 49–50). By contrast, if one could believe at will, one could execute an intention to believe that p that would be answerable not to the truth, but to standards of practical justification, turning on such things as the benefits and costs, or moral virtues, of having that belief.
We are left with no clear picture of the content of that claim, or of satisfactory grounds on which it might be held. II Begin with the need for clarification: What is it that we mean to rule out when we deny that it is possible to form a belief at will? 6 This is perfectly commonplace, if regrettable, a kind of beliefformation that is epistemically irrational, functioning to dispel anxiety or to bring satisfaction, and in which we do not knowingly engage. Believing at will may depend upon our capacity for wishful thought, but it takes the more specific form of intentional action: To believe at will is, at the very least, to form a belief intentionally.
And we sometimes say that a statement is “very true”; but this means, not that the statement is true to a high degree, but that it is not only true but also very much to the point. ” But these locutions are evidence, not that truth is a matter of degree, but that true statements may be more or less vague. 28. George Orwell, “Politics and the English Language,” in In Front of Your Nose: The Collected Essays, Journalism, and Letters of George Orwell, vol. IV, ed. Sonia Orwell and Ian Angus (New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1968), 127–40, 129.
Truth and its Deformities by Peter A. French, Howard K. Wettstein