2010 Student Research Conference:
23rd Annual Student Research Conference

Playing With Words: A Solution to the Lottery Paradox
Rachel N. Cook
Dr. Chad Mohler, Faculty Mentor

The question of whether one is justified in holding a belief is a topic many epistemologists have pondered for decades. It is also one which every individual must decide in order to make informed decisions. One guideline people have held for justified belief is that when there are inconsistent beliefs, at least one is false. However, Richard Fumerton claims the Lottery Paradox could allow people to hold inconsistent beliefs assuming those beliefs are reasonable. He illustrates his point with an example of an individuals beliefs about the Lottery: that one Lottery ticket will win, but also that each ticket will lose. This paper will argue that the paradox can be solved by altering the wording of the second belief so that its not ticket#n will lose, but if ticket1 loses and ticket2 loses and...then ticketx will win. It will also defend why this solution is adequate against objections.

Keywords: Lottery Paradox, alternate language, Richard Fumerton, conditional beliefs

Topic(s):Philosophy & Religion

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 22-3
Location: MG 2090
Time: 10:00

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