The Easy Examination Paradox

  • Frank Jackson
Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 178)


Surprise examinations in a specified period are possible, moreover it need be no surprise that they are a surprise. That much almost everyone has found obvious. Call it ‘the strong intuition’. In this paper I defend the strong intuition against an only too familiar argument discussed in an only too familiar literature. This defence requires that I solve a version of the examination paradox. But we will see that it is, unfortunately, only an easy version of that paradox which I solve. My solution will draw on points made by W.V. Quine,1 and by Crispin Wright and Aidan Sudbury.2 I think that Wright and Sudbury got the ingredients of the solution to the easy paradox pretty well right, but not the recipe.


Justify Belief Easy Version Friday Afternoon Strong Intuition Exam Show 
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  1. 1.
    W.V. Quine: 1953, ‘On a So-Called Paradox’,Mind 62, 65–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Wright, Crispin and Sudbury, Aidan: 1977, ‘The Paradox of the Unexpected Examination’,Australasian Journal of Philosophy 55, no. 1 (May), 41–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 5.
    See, e.g., Ayer, A.J.: 1973, ‘On a Supposed Antinomy’,Mind 82.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frank Jackson

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