Tuesday, 24 April 2007


Wittgenstein once said: 'if there were a verb meaning "to believe falsely," it would not have any significant first person, present indicative.'

As far as this goes, I misbelieve.

I could add: I hereticise, I autodeceive. He might say, 'but these are not significant!' And that's exactly the point: to believe falsely is to invest emotionally in a significance that does not, in fact, obtain in the universe. It is to believe that there is any significance at all by means of believing in the significance of x or y. In that sense, most of what we believe--of what we assert, first person, present indicative, we believe--is willed false believing. The counter example to Wittgenstein then becomes, simply, credo, provided we read that word retrospectively through its wonderfully revealing English derivative, as 'I am credulous'.

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