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Philosophy 12-2.docx

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Department
Philosophy
Course
PHIL 1070
Professor
Robert Mc Gill
Semester
Fall

Description
Philosophy 12/02/2013  he Ethics of Belief   Part 1: The Duty of Inquiry   Clifford’s claim: Evidentialism It iwrong always, everywhere and for anyone  to believeanything  on insufficient evidence. Whether it is right/wrong to hold a belief depends on whether it is supported by evidence. Example of the Shipowner: Initial Evidence Old ship, not well built Often needed repairs in the past Initial Psychological State Doubt about seaworthiness Suspect ship needs maintenance Overcomes doubt by: Wishful thinking ; trust in providence NOT by an investigation Clifford’s assessment: The shipowner’s belief is morally wrong He  had no righ  t to the beli f based on the evidence before him The status of a belief depends on itsorigin   Sincerity and strength of conviction are irrelevant Whether it turns out to be true is irrelevant Legitimate route to belief: Patient investigation, fact gathering, and evidence seeking Belief must withstand test of questioning and investigation Illegitimate route to belief: Wishful thinking Stifling doubts Listening to prejudice and passion The unfounded belief itself is wrong, not merely the ensuing action The  source  of the action’s wrongness is the wrong belief The action is not wrong just because of itconsequences The action is wrong because it is based on a belief that oneought not  have Question: What is the ship had sailed safely? Question: What is the ship sank after careful inspection? We have a DUTY of inquiry It is wrong to believe on insufficient evidence because: 1. Beliefs influence actions Beliefs lead to actions, which have consequences for others Unjustified beliefs are more likely to be false False beliefs 
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