Memory belief is weak

  • Type: Journal Article
  • Author: Lai, Changsheng
  • Journal: Ratio
    • Volume: 36
    • Issue: 3
    • Pages: 204-214
  • Year: 2023
  • DOI: 10.1111/rati.12381


Recently there has been extensive debate over whether “belief is weak”, viz, whether the epistemic standard for belief is lower than for assertion or knowledge. While most current studies focus on notions such as “ordinary belief” and “outright belief”, this paper purports to advance this debate by investigating a specific type of belief; memory belief. It is argued that (outright) beliefs formed on the basis of episodic memories are “weak” due to two forms of “entitlement inequality”. My key argument is thus twofold. First, by rejecting the epistemic theory of memory, I argue that one can be entitled to belief but not to knowledge. Second, by scrutinising a recent defence of the belief norm of assertion, it will be demonstrated that belief is weaker than assertion, as long as we expect one to match words with deeds.

Files and Links