Is Belief Weak in Chinese?
Xinyuan Liu

part of: Is Belief Weak?
September 6, 2022, 4:00pm - 7:00pm
School of Philosophy, Zhejiang University

Hangzhou 310058

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Zhejiang University
Zhejiang University

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Abstract: Recently there has been an heated debate about whether belief is weak. Roughly, we can say that belief is weak if the evidential support it requires for being warranted is lower than that required by assertion or knowledge. Most discussions on this issue are based on linguistic considerations about the English verb 'believe' and related verbs expressing doxastic attitudes. This paper aims to explore whether corresponding belief-ascriptions in Chinese are weak. I apply some of the tests in Hawthorne, Rothschild, and Spectre (“HRS”) to Chinese verbs expressing doxastic attitudes. I argue that some such verbs are just as weak as the English verb ‘believe’. Other verbs express much stronger doxastic attitudes, but the evidential support that warrant the corresponding attitudes seems still lower than that required by assertion or knowledge.

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