- Preface paradox
The Preface Paradox, or the paradox of the preface, [Makinson, D. C., "Paradox of the Preface", Analysis 25 (1965) 205-207. [http://david.c.makinson.googlepages.com/MakinsonPrefaceParadox1.pdf] ] was introduced by
David Makinsonin 1965. Similar to the Lottery Paradox, it presents an argument according to which it can be rational to accept mutually incompatible beliefs.
The argument runs along these lines:
It is customary for authors of academic books to include in the preface of their books statements such as "any errors that remain are my sole responsibility." Occasionally they go further and actually claim there are errors in the books, with statements such as "the errors that are found herein are mine alone".
(1) Such an author has written a book that contains many assertions, and has factually checked each one carefully, submitted it to reveiwers for comment, etc. Thus, he has reason to beleive that each assertion he has made is true.
(2) However, he knows, having learned from experience, that, in spite of his best efforts, there are very likely undetected errors in his book. So he also has good reason to believe that there is at least one assertion in his book is not true.
Thus, he has good reason, from (1), to rationally beleive both that each statement in his book is true, while at the same time he has good reason to rationally beleive, from (2), that the book contains at least one error. Thus he can rationally believe both that the book does and does not, contain at least one error.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
preface paradox — A writer says many things, p 1… p n, in the course of a book. In the preface she reasonably says that she knows the book contains mistakes, and is sorry for them. But given that she knows that p 1… p n is the set of things she asserted, she now… … Philosophy dictionary
preface — paradox … Philosophy dictionary
Lottery paradox — Henry E. Kyburg, Jr. s Lottery Paradox (1961, p. 197) arises from considering a fair 1000 ticket lottery that has exactly one winning ticket. If this much is known about the execution of the lottery it is therefore rational to accept that some… … Wikipedia
Moore's paradox — concerns the putative absurdity involved in asserting a first person present tense sentence such as It s raining but I don t believe that it is raining or It s raining but I believe that it is not raining . The first author to note this apparent… … Wikipedia
Perceptual paradox — A Perceptual paradox illustrates the failure of a theoretical prediction. Theories of perception are supposed to help a researcher predict what will be perceived when senses are stimulated.A theory usually comprises a Mathematical model (formula) … Wikipedia
calibration paradox — Someone who forecasts events with a probability (such as a weather forecaster) may be more or less well calibrated in the following sense. Consider the sequence of days for which he predicts rain with 0.1 probability. It may rain on 0.1 of them,… … Philosophy dictionary
lottery paradox — Suppose a lottery with a large number of tickets. Then it is rational to believe of each particular ticket that it will lose. If it is rational to hold two beliefs separately, then it must be rational to hold their conjunction. But if we conjoin… … Philosophy dictionary
List of philosophy topics (I-Q) — II and thou I Ching I Ching I proposition I Thou I Thou relationshipIaIamblichus (philosopher)IbYahya Ibn Adi Yahya Ibn Adi Ibn al Arabi Muhyi al Din Ibn al Arabi Abu Bakr Ibn Bajja Abu Bakr Ibn Bājja Abu Bakr Muhammad Ibn Yahya Ibn as Say igh… … Wikipedia
David Makinson — David Clement Makinson, D.Phil, (born 27 August 1941), is an Australian mathematical logician living in London, England. Career Makinson began his studies at Sydney University in 1958 and was an associate of the Libertarian Society and Sydney… … Wikipedia
Logicism — is one of the schools of thought in the philosophy of mathematics, putting forth the theory that mathematics is an extension of logic and therefore some or all mathematics is reducible to logic. Bertrand Russell and Alfred North Whitehead… … Wikipedia