Gullible Yet Intelligible

Daniel O'Brien

Abstract


In this paper I describe the imaginary community of Gullible.
Gulliblians are led by moral pressures to believe whatever they are told
and, in the scenario that I sketch, this leads to them having widespread
contradictory beliefs. This community is nevertheless intelligible to us
given what we know about their situation and their moral code. Davidson,
however, holds there to be what I call a logicist constraint on
interpretation: thinkers can only be interpreted if a good proportion of
their beliefs are rational and, for Davidson, rationality entails logical
consistency. The possibility of Gullible therefore forces us to reject this
logicist aspect of Davidson’s account of interpretation and
intelligibility.

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