Sunday, January 21, 2018

High credence is Not belief

Imagine a spherical die with thousands of tiny faces. You can roll the die around in your hand, surveying all the faces and thinking, of each face, how unlikely it is to end up on top when you roll the die, but that it might. So, for each face you have a very high credence in the proposition that it will not end up on top, but you do not believe that it will not end up on top.

The Lockean assumption that belief is sufficiently high credence is similarly refuted by almost all of our quotidian beliefs. Consider the view from some window. The chance of any particular arrangement of cars, leaves et cetera is low, and so your expectation of having that view is low. Conversely, your expectation of not having that view, and your credence that you won't have that view, are high. But it is of course not the case that you tacitly believe that you won't have that view. On the contrary, you know that you will probably have some such unsurprising view.

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