I Can’t Believe I’m Stupid

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Egan, Andy; Elga, Adam
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preprint description
It is bad news to find out that one's cognitive or perceptual faculties are defective. Furthermore, it’s not always transparent how one ought to revise one's beliefs in light of such news. Two sorts of news should be distinguished. On the one hand, there is news that a faculty is unreliable -- that it doesn't track the truth particularly well. On the other hand, there is news that a faculty is anti-reliable -- that it tends to go positively wrong. These two sorts of news call for extremely different responses. We provide accounts of these responses, and prove bounds on the degree to which one can reasonably count oneself as mistaken about a given subject matter.