“Revealed Irrationality” by Ian Evans (LC Alum)
Date: 3:30pm - 5:00pm PDT October 25, 2012 Location: J.R. Howard Hall 202
J.R. Howard Hall 202
Is it possible to believe something, while simultaneously – and in full consciousness – believing that this belief is unsupported by your evidence? I say “yes”: I believe this about many of my own beliefs and I bet you do, too. But several philosophers have argued that this is precluded by the very nature of belief. The arguments – there are several – have been influential, but have received little scrutiny in print. In this paper, I take a hard look and find that none of the arguments holds water. Even if you agree with me that _these_ arguments fail, you might still find it puzzling how someone could believe that her own belief is irrational. The second part of my paper tries to help by making such a doxastic situation intelligible from the first-person perspective. What we can call “revealed irrationality” is possible and not as puzzling as it might seem.