Why Beliefs Are Never True: A Reconstruction of Stoic Epistemology

Katja Maria Vogt

in Belief and Truth

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199916818
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199980291 | DOI:
Why Beliefs Are Never True: A Reconstruction of Stoic Epistemology

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According to the Stoics, beliefs are not evaluated as “true” or “false.” This aspect of Stoic epistemology, though rather stark, has not been noted by interpreters. The chapter is devoted to explaining and reconstructing it. The Stoic wise person does not hold any beliefs. In aiming for knowledge, one should aim to get rid of beliefs, which are generally seen in a negative light. These views may initially appear foreign to contemporary intuitions. However, it is argued that the Stoic position is closer to our views than one might suspect. According to the Stoics, only axiomata are strictly speaking bearers of truth-values; every other application of the truth-values is derivative. That is, ancestors of today's propositions are considered what is properly evaluated as true or false, arguably not an implausible idea.

Keywords: Stoic epistemology; beliefs; truth-values; logic; normative epistemology; axiomata

Chapter.  11160 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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