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Re: [jboske] Ralph vs. the Tortoise




la djan cusku di'e


Recapitulating:

1) Ralph believes that Ortcutt is not a spy.
2) Ralph believes that the man in the brown hat is a spy.
3) The man in the brown hat is Ortcutt.

Therefore:

4) Ralph believes *of Ortcutt* that he is not a spy.
5) Ralph believes *of Ortcutt* that he is a spy.

Jorge says this is no problem, as long as Ralph does not believe
"Ortcutt is a spy and Ortcutt is not a spy", which he does not.
People with appropriate false beliefs or appropriate ignorance can
believe (de re) contradictory things.

Right. I'm sure some of the things I believe must be contradictory, even though I can't pinpoint them.

But now consider Hofstadter's Tortoise:

6) The Tortoise affirms "My shell is green".
7) The Tortoise affirms "My shell is not green".
8) The Tortoise rejects "My shell is green and my shell is not green".

It seems to follow that:

9) The Tortoise believes *of his shell* that it is green.
10) The Tortoise believes *of his shell* that is is not green.

If the Tortoise doesn't lie, then it seems to follow, yes.


Must we accept that the Tortoise's beliefs are not contradictory de re,
but only de dicto? The de re version seems exactly parallel to Ralph's
de re beliefs. Yet Ralph is merely ignorant of a key point (viz. #3),
whereas the Tortoise seems to be "logically insane".

The Tortoise seems not to know what "not" means. Not understanding "not" certainly would seem to allow one to believe a lot of plain contradictions.

mu'o mi'e xorxes
(writing from a cybercafe in Punta del Este, Uruguay)



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