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Minutes from "Disagreement Seminar 8 - Rieppel (2011)" on 3 Apr 2012 - 15:00

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4 Apr 2012
Europe/Rome
Minutes for:

Disagreement Seminar 8 - Rieppel (2011) from 3 Apr 2012 - 15:00 to 3 Apr 2012 - 15:00

Attendees
Delia Belleri; eugenio orlandelli; Giorgio Volpe; Michele Palmira; pleonardi
Raban Reichmann; Federica Berdini

From the discussion at least two significant points have been raised:

1) Rieppel's rejection of the w-specification explication of the notion of "guarantee" is too quick: in a way perfectly analogous to the idea of w-specification, we could introduce other X-specifications where is "X" is any other parameters to which the truth of the proposition is relativized to. In this way, for example, the proposition ACTUALLY: IT IS RAINING is sensitive to time-specifications in a temporalist framework. More generally, the idea fits very well once you have accepted a non-absolutistist notion of propositional truth, in fact we could think any specification as an axis of reality towards to which propositional truth is sensitive to.

2) Rieppel's temporalist rendering of the notion of belief retention is unsatisfactory for at least three reasons:

i) the number of propositions required in order to assure belief retention is indefinitely large: in order to say that the belief NIXON IS PRESIDENT held in 1968 is retained till 2012 it must be the case that the subjects has subsequently entertained the beliefs 1 YEAR AGO: NIXON IS PRESIDENT (held in 1969), 2 YEARS AGO: NIXON IS PRESIDENT (held in 1970), and so on.. Moreover what should the time-granularity involved? Why only years? Why not months, days, minutes or even seconds? There seem to be no principled reason to exclude that also propositions such as YEARS, 1 DAY, 1 MINUTE, 1 SECOND AGO; NIX IS PRESIDENT would be involved. But if so, the number of proposition required for each belief retention would be incredibly large - a awkward consequence.

ii) Abstracting from Rieppel's proposal, the idea that the temporalist can appeal to a notion of "believing the same" in cases such as

On Monday I believed that Nixon is president. On Wednesday I believed that Nixon is president. There is a sense in which I believed the same thing in these two days.

is problematic. For the notion of belief should be linked to that of commitment in the following way: if I believe p, I should be committed to the truth of p. Sameness of belief should then go hand by hand with sameness of committment

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