[lit-ideas] Can All Our Beliefs Be False?

  • From: Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 29 Apr 2013 23:52:53 -0400 (EDT)

In a message dated 4/29/2013 7:28:47 P.M. UTC-02,  
donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx writes:
"A drowning man may be another example:  intuitively, or instinctively, the 
drowing man may reach out forlornly for  something to grasp - and we might 
imagine this would be the intuitive or  instinctive reaction of someone 
falling through outer space. And we might  understand their intuitive or 
instinctive response in terms of a disposition  evolved by 'natural selection' 
- a 
disposition that might prove useful when  falling from a tree or other 
height in the environments in which the man's  ancestors evolved, but not in an 
ocean or outer space where there is nothing to  grasp."

A similar point:

From an online source:

"(According to the sceptic all our beliefs could be false. According to  
Davidson, they could not all be. In fact, most must be true.)"
It occurs to me that Davidson's (and also Grice's) line of interpreting  
this may be useful. 
It seems the drowing-man scenario invokes some false belief (if belief it  
is), "I have something to grasp". 
It may seem that Garcia's rats also require an ascription of a special  
However, as Davidson suggests, there is a need for a sort of transcendental 
 justification to the effect that MOST of our beliefs are (or have to be) 
true.  Or not.
How this relates to philosophical psychology, later. 

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  • » [lit-ideas] Can All Our Beliefs Be False? - Jlsperanza