Memory Belief Is WeakChangsheng Lai (Shanghai JiaoTong University)
Is Belief Weak?
Abstract: Recent years have seen extensive debate over whether ‘belief is weak’, viz, whether the epistemic standard required by belief is lower than that for assertion or knowledge. While most current studies focus on notions like ‘ordinary belief’ and ‘outright belief’, this paper purports to advance this debate by investigating a specific type of belief—memory belief. I will argue that (outright) beliefs formed on the basis of episodic memories are ‘weak’ due to two forms of ‘entitlement inequality’. My key argument is thus twofold. First, by rejecting the epistemic theory of memory, I argue that one can be entitled to belief but not to knowledge. Second, by scrutinizing the communicative function of memory, it will be demonstrated that one can be entitled to belief but not to assertion, such that memory can play its functional role in supporting epistemic vigilance.
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