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Should I believe all the truths?

Greenberg, A; (2020) Should I believe all the truths? Synthese , 197 pp. 3279-3303. 10.1007/s11229-018-1882-9. Green open access

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Abstract

Should I believe something if and only if it’s true? Many philosophers have objected to this kind of truth norm, on the grounds that it’s not the case that one ought to believe all the truths. For example, some truths are too complex to believe; others are too trivial to be worth believing. Philosophers who defend truth norms often respond to this problem by reformulating truth norms in ways that do not entail that one ought to believe all the truths. Many of these attempts at reformulation, I’ll argue, have been missteps. A number of these different reformulations are incapable of carrying out a central role a truth norm is meant to play, that of explaining justification. The truth norm I’ll defend, however, avoids the implausible results of a prescription to believe all the truths, but doesn’t thereby fail to explain justification. This norm, introduced (but not defended) by Conor McHugh, states that if one has some doxastic attitude about p—i.e. if one believes, disbelieves, or suspends judgement about whether p—then one ought to believe that p if and only if p is true.

Type: Article
Title: Should I believe all the truths?
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s11229-018-1882-9
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11229-018-1882-9
Language: English
Additional information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Keywords: Belief, Truth norms, Epistemic justification
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Dept of Philosophy
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10119886
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