Publication Type

Journal Article

Version

Preprint

Publication Date

1-2007

Abstract

One tradition of solving the surprise exam paradox, started by Robert Binkley and continued by Doris Olin, Roy Sorensen and Jelle Gerbrandy, construes surprise epistemically and relies upon the oddity of propositions akin to G. E. Moore's paradoxical 'p and I don't believe that p.' Here I argue for an analysis that evolves from Olin's. My analysis is different from hers or indeed any of those in the tradition because it explicitly recognizes that there are two distinct reductios at work in the student's paradoxical argument against the teacher. The weak reductio is easy to fault. Its invalidity determines the structure of the strong reductio, so-called because it is more difficult to refute, but ultimately unsound because of reasons associated with Moore-paradoxicality. Previous commentators have not always appreciated this difference, with the result that the strong reductio is not addressed, or the response to the weak reductio is superfluous. This is one reason why other analyses in the tradition are vulnerable to objections to which mine is not.

Keywords

Moore's paradox, belief, absurdity, examinations

Discipline

Philosophy

Research Areas

Humanities

Publication

Journal of Philosophical Research

Volume

32

First Page

67

Last Page

94

ISSN

1053-8364

Identifier

10.5840/jpr20073235

Publisher

Philosophy Documentation Center

Copyright Owner and License

Author

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Additional URL

http://doi.org/10.5840/jpr20073235

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Philosophy Commons

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