• creativesoul
    10.9k
    The fact that “Michael wasn’t born in Germany because he was born in France” isn’t equivalent to “Michael wasn’t born in Germany” doesn’t mean that someone who believes the former doesn’t also believe the latter.Michael

    Right.

    For your argument to work you must show that everyone who believes the former to be true doesn’t believe the latter to be true. You haven’t done that, and I don’t think you can.

    Well, no. In order for my argument to work, I need to show that what you're claiming is S's belief is not equivalent to S's belief and that the difference between S's belief and your report is clearly shown by virtue of looking at the differences in what it takes for each to be true.

    I can and have done that.
  • Michael
    11.8k
    Well, no. In order for my argument to work, I need to show that what you're claiming is S's belief is not equivalent to S's belief and that the difference between S's belief and your report is clearly shown by virtue of looking at the differences in what it takes for each to be true.

    I can and have done that.
    creativesoul

    You haven't shown that someone who believes “Michael wasn’t born in Germany because he was born in France” doesn't also believe “Michael wasn’t born in Germany”.

    I think it self-evident that someone who believes the former also believes the latter. And the latter is true.
  • creativesoul
    10.9k
    You haven't shown that someone who believes “Michael wasn’t born in Germany because he was born in France” doesn't also believe “Michael wasn’t born in Germany”.Michael

    Nor need I. What I have shown is that "Michael was not born in Germany" is not equivalent to believing that Michael was not born in Germany because he was born in France, which is precisely what S believes. The charge made by me was one of an academic accounting malpractice of S's belief. I've more than shouldered that burden.
  • creativesoul
    10.9k


    "Michael was not born in Germany."
    "Michael was not born in Germany, because he was born in France."

    According to the argument you offered earlier, which of the above is an accurate report of S's belief regarding your birthplace?

    We both know that the second is. You want to say that because he believes the first, the second entails the first, and the first is true, that his belief about your birthplace is true even though you were not born in France, because the proposition is true regardless of where you were born, so long as you were not born in Germany.

    S does not just believe that you were not born in Germany. Academia neglects to keep that in mind, and in doing so conflates a naked proposition with S's belief by virtue of conflating what it would take for them to be true. S's belief about your birthplace(and thus about that proposition)does not share the same truth conditions as the naked proposition. S's belief about your birthplace(and that proposition) is true only if, only when, and only because you were born in France. S believes the proposition is true because you were born in France. The proposition is true because you were born in England, contrary to S's belief. S's belief about your birthplace is justified, valid, and false. What S believed to be the case was not.
  • creativesoul
    10.9k
    Let's consider a situation where we have five different people who believe that you were born in five different places. None of these people believe that you were born in Germany. None of these people believe that you were born in England.

    According to you(and current convention's belief attribution practices) all of them have the same true belief about your birthplace.

    You and current convention are wrong, because none of them believe the same thing and all of their beliefs about your birthplace are false.
  • creativesoul
    10.9k


    Joe believes you were born in Croatia. Dan believes you were born in Ireland. Veronica believes you were born in Utah. Kevin believes you were born in British Columbia. John believes you were born in Egypt.

    None of them believe the same thing about your birthplace.

    The proposition "Michael was not born in Germany" can be attributed to each of them according to current conventional belief attribution practices. That would be to say that they believe the same thing.

    None of them believe the same thing about your birthplace.

    Joe believes you were not born in Germany, because you were born in Croatia. Dan believes you were not born in Germany, because you were born in Ireland. Veronica believes you were not born in Germany, because you were born in Utah. Kevin believes you were not born in Germany, because you were born in British Columbia. John believes you were not born in Germany, because you were born in Egypt.

    None of them believe the same thing about your birthplace.

    "Michael was not born in Germany" is not equivalent to Joe, Dan, Veronica, Kevin, and/or John's belief about your birthplace.
  • creativesoul
    10.9k
    If that does not convince you, nothing will...

    It's been fun. Hate to run, but have a real, life changing emergency situation to deal with. No worries, just needs settled. I'll return after the dust does the same.
  • Michael
    11.8k
    "Michael was not born in Germany."
    "Michael was not born in Germany, because he was born in France."

    According to the argument you offered earlier, which of the above is an accurate report of S's belief regarding your birthplace?
    creativesoul

    Both. Someone who believes the latter also believes the former. They are not mutually exclusive. As I have said, you need to show that someone who believes the latter doesn't also believe the former. You haven't done that.

    S does not just believe that you were not born in Germany.creativesoul

    I do not just believe that Joe Biden is President. I believe that Joe Biden is President and is a man and is white and is married and is American and is 80 years old, and so on. The fact that I believe multiple things about Joe Biden doesn't mean that if any one of these things is false that I don't truthfully believe other things about him.

    And so for the same reason, the fact that S believes that I was not born in Germany because I was born in France doesn't entail that if I wasn't born in France then S doesn't truthfully believe that I was not born in Germany.
  • creativesoul
    10.9k


    The proposition "Michael was not born in Germany" is equivalent to neither S's belief about that particular proposition nor S's belief about your birthplace. The proposition is true regardless of where you were born so long as it was not in Germany. S's belief about your birthplace as well as their belief about that proposition are true only if, only when, and only because you were born in France.

    S believes the proposition is true because you were born in France. The proposition is true because you were born in England, contrary to S's belief.

    You're treating S's belief about that proposition and the proposition as though they share truth conditions. They do not.

    "Michael was not born in Germany" is not S's belief.
  • creativesoul
    10.9k
    "Michael was not born in Germany."
    "Michael was not born in Germany, because he was born in France."

    According to the argument you offered earlier, which of the above is an accurate report of S's belief regarding your birthplace?
    — creativesoul

    Both. Someone who believes the latter also believes the former. They are not mutually exclusive. As I have said, you need to show that someone who believes the latter doesn't also believe the former. You haven't done that.
    Michael

    I'm charging you and convention with getting S's belief wrong. I'm saying that you're treating S's belief as though it is equivalent to the proposition.

    All I need to show is that it is not. The mutual exclusivity between those two propositions or any lack thereof has nothing at all to do with whether or not the proposition is equivalent to S's belief.



    S does not just believe that you were not born in Germany.
    — creativesoul

    I do not just believe that Joe Biden is President.
    Michael

    Perhaps I should not have left such a low hanging fruit. That's cute.

    S does not just believe that "Michael was not born in Germany" is true. S believes "Michael was not born in Germany" is true because you were born in France.
  • Ludwig V
    35

    I hesitate to add to your discussion which is difficult enough already. But perhaps it has got to the point where there is not much to lose.

    You seem to be disagreeing about the criteria of identity of beliefs. But there are none, so far as I know. People seem happy to accept that belief, like knowledge and a number of others, is a "propositional attitude" and I use that term because it groups together a number of concepts which have interesting features in common, as well as a striking grammatical feature - the "that" clause.

    So it seems to be widely accepted that a belief is an attitude to a proposition, and hence that identity of proposition is the criterion of identity of beliefs. Fair enough. What is/are the criteria of identity for propositions? The only one that I've ever seen is sameness of meaning. And the criteria for that?

    My point is that there are no criteria of identity for beliefs. The best I can do is define a proposition as a sentence together with its use in a given context. But then we have to face the fact that the context of a belief-sentence is complicated, so that we have to take account of, for example, the de dicto/de re distinction, where the speaker may be the believer, but may be someone reporting the believer's belief to someone else.

    In spite of all this, I'm still confused about whether "John is a bachelor" and "John is unmarried and male" are the same proposition or different ones. A complicated definition may not be fully known or understood by a particular speaker, or a speaker may not be aware of the definition of various terms s/he uses, so you can't take for granted that the two sentences will mean the same to everyone.

    Another feature which is not clear affects your discussion directly - and analysis of the Gettier problem. Standard definitions would say that the truth-conditions of a proposition/sentence are part of its meaning. It is perfectly possible that a proposition can be verified by quite a wide range of states of affairs, not all of which are required at the same time. So you might recognize me by my face or by my voice. If you recognize me by one of these - say my face - it is called a truth-maker or truth-making condition. Now, what is not clear whether the truth-maker on a particular occasion of a proposition is part of the meaning of the proposition in that use. If it is, I expect you can see that this dismembers a Gettier package so that the paradox does not work.

    But your argument seems to be yet more complicated because it is a case like to the colour exclusion problem. Forgive me if you know about this already. It was the turning-point or the rock on which WIttgenstein eventually began to abandon the logical atomism of the Tractatus. In essence "this is red (all over)" and "this is blue (all over)" cannot both be true, yet they are not contradictory. Similarly, "Michael was born in France" and "Michael was born in Germany" exclude each other and yet are not contradictory. This problem is created by treating simple propositions as atoms, which are completely independent of each other, logically speaking. WIttgenstein finally developed the idea that propositions are not true or false independently, but as part of a system - i.e. there are no atomic propositions.

    I've gone on for long enough, but I hope this helps to clarify why you could not agree.
  • Michael
    11.8k
    "Michael was not born in Germany" is not S's belief.creativesoul

    S believes many related things:

    1. S believes that Michael was not born in Germany because he was born in France
    2. S believes that Michael was born in France
    3. S believes that Michael was not born in Germany
    4. S believes that France is not in Germany
    5. S believes that Michael cannot have been born in more than one place
    etc.

    Your claim is that if (1) is true then (3) is false. My claim is that if (1) is true then (3) is true. I think my claim is supported by common sense logic: (1) entails (2) and (3).

    "I believe that Michael was not born in Germany because he was born in France but I do not believe that Michael was not born in Germany" is an absurd claim.
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