more from Gilbert Harman

Single Idea 12599

[catalogued under 2. Reason / A. Nature of Reason / 6. Coherence]

Full Idea

Conservatism is important; you should continue to believe as you do in the absence of any special reason to doubt your view, and in reasoning you should try to minimize change in your initial opinions in attaining other goals of reasoning.

Gist of Idea

Reason conservatively: stick to your beliefs, and prefer reasoning that preserves most of them


Gilbert Harman ((Nonsolipsistic) Conceptual Role Semantics [1987], 12.2.6)

Book Reference

Harman,Gilbert: 'Reasoning Meaning and Mind' [OUP 1999], p.217

A Reaction

One of those principles like Ockham's Razor, which feels right but hard to justify. It seems the wrong principle for someone who can reason well, but has been brainwashed into a large collection of daft beliefs. Japanese soldiers still fighting WWII.