Friedman on suspended judgment

Synthese 197 (11):5009-5026 (2020)
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In a recent series of papers, Jane Friedman argues that suspended judgment is a sui generis first-order attitude, with a question as its content. In this paper, I offer a critique of Friedman’s project. I begin by responding to her arguments against reductive higher-order propositional accounts of suspended judgment, and thus undercut the negative case for her own view. Further, I raise worries about the details of her positive account, and in particular about her claim that one suspends judgment about some matter if and only if one inquires into this matter. Subsequently, I use conclusions drawn from the preceding discussion to offer a tentative account: S suspends judgment about p iff S believes that she neither believes nor disbelieves that p, S neither believes nor disbelieves that p, and S intends to judge that p or not-p.

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Michal Masny
University of California, Berkeley


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