The hobgoblin

The Monist 70 (2):141 - 151 (1987)
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Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “a Foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.” The alleged evidence has mounted that ordinary folk are prone to inconsistency, and particularly that they are prone to inconsistency when it comes to probabilistic judgments. I write “alleged,” because it is open to question whether the experiments that provide this evidence are well designed—in particular whether Quine’s principle of logistical charity has been followed. I also do so because in some cases of probability judgments the untutored intuitions of ordinary people seem to be at least as good as, and perhaps better than, the intuitions of those who run the experiments.



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The Logic of Pragmatic Truth.Newton C. A. Da Costa, Otávio Bueno & Steven French - 1998 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 27 (6):603-620.

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