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.
PrenticeDeborah and MillerDale. 1993. “Pluralistic Ignorance and Alcohol Use on Campus: Some Consequences of Misperceiving the Social Norm” in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology64(2) pp. 243–56.
WhitingDaniel. 2014. “Reasons for Belief, Reasons for Action, the Aim of Belief, and the Aim of Action” in Epistemic Norms New Essays on Action Belief and Assertion ed. LittlejohnClayton and TurriJohn (Oxford: Oxford University Press) pp. 219–238.