On transparency: a response to Nishi Shah’s “How truth governs belief" Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Given, Emily Adams
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Philosophy
  • In his 2003 paper “How Truth Governs Belief” Nishi Shah claims that within first personal doxastic deliberation, one cannot separate the questions whether to believe some proposition p and whether p is true; the questions must be viewed as answered by and answerable to the same set of considerations. He calls this phenomenon transparency, and argues that the only way to explain it is by understanding the concept of belief as being normatively tied to truth. In deliberating about whether to believe we exercise our concept of belief, appreciate it’s normative connection to truth, and so incite the collapse of these two questions. By way of offering a response to Shah, I argue on behalf of teleological accounts of belief that there is a competing explanation of transparency. Despite Shah’s dilemma, it seems to me that the teleologist, making metaphysical rather than conceptual claims, can recover an explanation of why truth is normative for belief in the way transparency reveals.
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  • Sayre-McCord, Geoffrey
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  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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