Confusion

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Harvard University Press, Jun 30, 2009 - Philosophy - 256 pages
Everyone has mistaken one thing for another, such as a stranger for an acquaintance. A person who has mistaken two things, Joseph Camp argues, even on a massive scale, is still capable of logical thought. In order to make that idea precise, one needs a logic of confused thought that is blind to the distinction between the objects that have been confused. Confused thought and language cannot be characterized as true or false even though reasoning conducted in such language can be classified as valid or invalid. To the extent that philosophers have addressed this issue at all, they take it for granted that confusion is a kind of ambiguity. Camp rejects this notion; his fundamental claim is that confusion is not a mental state. To attribute confusion to someone is to take up a paternalistic stance in evaluating his reasoning. Camp proposes a novel characterization of confusion, and then demonstrates its fruitfulness with several applications in the history of philosophy and the history of science.
 

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Confusion: a study in the theory of knowledge

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Imagine that you think you see your car in the lot at Dodger Stadium, but your key won't work. You think to yourself, "I owe $500 on this car." Then you see a stuffed Panda in the backseat and decide ... Read full review

Contents

II What Confusion Is
25
III A Little Logic
47
IV TruthValuing
69
V A Logic for Confusion
119
VI Curing Confusion
161
VII Flexible Sameness
189
Notes
219
Index
243
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