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The Journal of Philosophy

Volume 114, Issue 7, July 2017

Benoit Gaultier
Pages 366-380
DOI: 10.5840/jphil2017114725

A Neglected Ramseyan View of Truth, Belief, and Inquiry

For F. P. Ramsey, “there is no separate problem of truth,” but, rather, substantive problems about the nature of belief and judgment and the place and function of truth in these propositional attitudes. In this paper, I expound and defend an important but largely overlooked aspect of Ramsey’s view of belief and inquiry: his thesis that truth does not intervene at all in one’s ordinary beliefs, nor in one’s ordinarily inquiring into—in the sense of wondering, or reflecting on—whether or not something obtains. More specifically, I show that this thesis can solve a particularly perplexing problem that Davidson helped to bring into focus: that of explaining how it is possible for one to inquire into any empirical issue, and to form any empirical beliefs, if one takes truth to be objective.

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