Skeptical dad

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"I don't really believe anything any more," said my dad, reflecting on the increasing skepticism to which his old age was leading him.

"Hold on, dad," I said, "you can't be right there."

"If you think your claim is true — and I assume you must, if you were sincere in stating it — then it's definitely false, because you do have at least one belief: the belief that you have no beliefs. A false belief, as it turns out, but a belief nonetheless."

"Oh," said my dad, looking at me thoughtfully, ruminating perhaps on how odd it is that a skeptical thought can feel perfectly plausible despite being so readily refutable.

Or alternatively (though I hope not — it's Father's Day) he may have been ruminating on the fact that there really is a down side to having a son who's a theoretical linguist married to an analytic philosopher.

Have a good Father's Day, dad. And keep believing.

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