Belief and Negation

Jonathan E. Adler, J. Anthony Blair


This paper argues for the importance of the distinction between internal and external negation over expressions for belief. The common fallacy is to confuse statement like (1) and (2): (1) John believes that the school is not closed on Tuesday; (2) John does not believe that the school is closed on Tuesday. The fallacy has ramifications in teaching, reasoning, and argumentation. Analysis of the fallacy and suggestions for teaching are offered.


belief, negation, external negation, internal negation, fallacy, teaching, pragmatics

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ISSN: 0824-2577