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My Philosophical Position Says 'p'
and I Don't Believe 'p'
There is typically something strange about asserting or believing
Moore-paradoxical sentences - sentences of the form
'p and I don't believe that p',
'p and I believe that not-p',
and their ilk. In this paper I want to harness this strangeness to do a
particular kind of philosophical work.
I will argue that various prominent philosophers are committed to
asserting and believing various Moore-paradoxical sentences in virtue of
the very philosophical positions that they hold. Some of the
philosophers in question may be surprised to learn of their commitment
and find it unwelcome; others may not be troubled by their commitment
and claim that not all Moore sentences are paradoxical after all; still
others may positively celebrate their commitment and the paradoxicality,
perhaps in the name of notoriety or boldness of thought. In any case,
observing the commitment may help lay bare what we find peculiar in
these philosophical positions, where previously we may only have had
vague feelings of unease; or we may regard the Moore-paradoxical
commitments as further reductios of the positions; or we may conclude
that not all Moore sentences are paradoxical after all. Whichever way
things go, I hope that some philosophical progress will be made.