Friday, March 06, 2009

More on Tom and Tim

Prompted by some good questions, I have continued to worry about Tom and Tim and their pleasures. I certainly have not go as far as what we ought to say about these cases, but I think I have a clearer grasp on what we do not want to say.

Faced with the two cases, we don't want to say:

1. Tom is not pleased although he thinks he is.

So we don't want to make actually winning the lottery a necessary condition of being pleased that one has one the lottery. This is the reason why we might be tempted to say that all you need is the belief...

But we also don't want to say:

2. Tim is pleased only because he believes that he won the lottery.

Because that is not what Tim says: he says he is pleased because he has won the lottery and indeed this is true.

And we also don't want to say:

3. Tim and Tom are both pleased because either they have won or believe that they have won the lottery. Since it would not be possible in each case for Tim or Tom to work out which of the disjuncts is the case for them. And indeed the same impossibility would hold for any case of being pleased at something, even put in first-personal terms.

Do I really feel satisfied at the thought that when I am pleased I should say 'I am pleased either because X or because I believe that X'?

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