The so-called Paradox of Serious Possibility is usually regarded as showing that the standard axioms of belief revision do not apply to belief sets that are introspectively closed. In this article we argue to the contrary: we suggest a way of dissolving the Paradox of Serious Possibility so that introspective statements are taken to express propositions in the standard sense, which may thus be proper members of belief sets, and accordingly the normal axioms of belief revision apply to them. Instead (...) the paradox is avoided by making explicit, for any occurrence of an introspective modality in the object language, the belief state to which this occurrence refers; this will make it impossible for any doxastic modality to refer to two distinct belief sets within one and the same context of doxastic appraisal. By this move the standard derivation of a contradiction from the theory of belief revision in the presence of introspectively closed belief sets does not go through any more, and indeed the premisses of the Paradox of Serious Possibility become jointly consistent once they are reformulated with our amended introspective modalities only. Additionally, we present a probabilistic version of the Paradox of Serious Possibility which can be avoided in a perfectly analogous manner. (shrink)
Test for the rational acceptance of conditionals and it still incites much of the interest in conditional reasoning. For instance, the test has been considered as a good starting point for several formal semantics for conditionals. Furthermore, its ramifications have important implications for several disciplines, from logic and artificial intelligence to decision theory and psychology. This volume presents a small but fine sample of the state of the art of such multifarious area of research.
The main goal of the paper is to investigate the relation between indicative conditionals and rationality. We wil l do this by consider- ing several interpretations of a very wel l-known example of reasoning involving conditionals, that is the Wason selection task, and showing how those interpretations have different bearings on the notion of ra- tionality. In particular, in the first part of the paper, after having briefly presented the selection task, we wil l take a look at two prag- (...) matic responses to the chal lenge posed by the task, through Wason ’s notion of confirmation bias and Grice’s theory of conversational im- plicature. The second part wil l introduce Adams’ probabilistic view of indicative conditionals and wil l give reasons for preferring his account to those aforementioned. The conclusion wil l evaluate the question of human rationality in the light of the new standpoint acquired. -/-. (shrink)
Abstract I analyse the relationship between the Ramsey Test (RT) for the acceptance of indicative conditionals and the so-called problem of decision-instability. In particular, I argue that the situations which allegedly bring about this problem are troublesome just in case the relevant conditionals are evaluated by non-suppositional versions, e.g. causal/evidential, of the test. In contrast, a suppositional RT, by highlighting the metacognitive nature of the evaluation of indicative conditionals, allows an agent to run a simulation of such evaluation, without yet (...) committing her to the acceptance of such conditionals. I conclude that a suppositional interpretation of RT is superior to its nonsuppositional counterparts and by briefly showing that a suppositional RT is compatible with a deliberational decision theory. (shrink)