On the Nature of Belief in Pluralistic Ignorance

In: Contemporary Pragmatism
Marco Antonio Joven-Romero Departamento de Lógica, Historia y Filosofía de la Ciencia, Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia,

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I apply recent research on the links between belief, truth and pragmatism based on Williams (1970) statement that “beliefs aim at truth,” to the phenomenon of pluralistic ignorance, in which agents act contrary to their private beliefs because they believe that other agents believe the contrary. I consider three positions; an epistemic position, a pragmatic position, and a third position coordinating the first two. I apply them to pluralistic ignorance while considering the recent study of Bjerring, Hansend and Pedersen (2014). I conclude that a purely epistemic approach is better for understanding pluralistic ignorance.

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