Cogito and Moore

Synthese 202 (1):1-27 (2023)
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Abstract

Self-verifying judgments like _I exist_ seem rational, and self-defeating ones like _It will rain, but I don’t believe it will rain_ seem irrational_._ But one’s evidence might support a self-defeating judgment, and fail to support a self-verifying one. This paper explains how it can be rational to defy one’s evidence if judgment is construed as a mental performance or act, akin to inner assertion. The explanation comes at significant cost, however. Instead of causing or constituting beliefs, judgments turn out to be mere epiphenomena, and self-verification and self-defeat lack the broader philosophical import often claimed for them.

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Author's Profile

David James Barnett
University of Toronto, St. George Campus

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References found in this work

Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 64 (1):200-201.
Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2005 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 70 (2):452-458.
The Epistemic Role of Consciousness.Declan Smithies - 2019 - New York, USA: Oxford University Press.

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