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Displaying: 1-10 of 885 documents


1. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 44
Weston Mudge Ellis, Justin McBrayer A Phenomenal Defense of Reflective Equilibrium
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The method of reflective equilibrium starts with a set of initial judgments about some subject matter and refines that set to arrive at an improved philosophical worldview. However, the method faces two, trenchant objections. The Garbage-In, Garbage-Out Objection argues that reflective equilibrium fails because it has no principled reason to rely on some inputs to the method rather than others and putting garbage-in assures you of getting garbage-out. The Circularity Objection argues that reflective equilibrium fails because it has no principled, non-circular way of sorting whatever is put into the method. The moves required to avoid both objections are instructive. Reflective equilibrium requires a meta-justification, and we offer one that appeals to the epistemic goods that underwrite a view known as phenomenal conservatism. Reflective equilibrium calls on us to start with what seems most likely to be true and to alter that collection of judgments in the ways that seem most likely to get us to the truth. Proceeding in this way is epistemically defensible and unavoidable. Hence, reflective equilibrium is not just good, it’s phenomenal.
2. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 44
Tracy Llanera Disavowing Hate: Group Egotism From Westboro to the Klan
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This article tracks how group egotists disavow their hate group identity. Group egotists are individuals born and raised in hate groups. The well-documented exit cases of Megan Phelps-Roper (Westboro Baptist Church) and Derek Black (White Nationalism) prove that hate group indoctrination can be undermined. A predominantly epistemic approach, which focuses on argument and conversational virtues, falls short in capturing the complexity of their apostasies. I turn to pragmatism for conceptual support. Using the work of Richard Rorty and William James, I explain how redemptive relationships and alternative lifeworlds participate in weakening belief-systems, leading to the disavowal of the hate group.
symposium on responsible belief: a theory in ethics and epistemology by rik peels
3. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 44
Stephen J. White Against Voluntarism about Doxastic Responsibility
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According to the view Rik Peels defends in Responsible Belief (2017), one is responsible for believing something only if that belief was the result of choices one made voluntarily, and for which one may be held responsible. Here, I argue against this voluntarist account of doxastic responsibility and in favor of the rationalist position that a person is responsible for her beliefs insofar as they are under the influence of her reason. In particular, I argue that the latter yields a more plausible account of the conditions under which ignorance may serve as an excuse for wrongdoing.
4. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 44
Rik Peels Responsible Belief, Influence, and Control: Response to Stephen White
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I reply to Stephen White’s criticisms of my Influence View. First, I reply to his worry that my Appraisal Account of responsibility cannot make sense of doxastic responsibility. Then, I discuss in detail his stolen painting case and argue that the Influence View can make sense of it. Next, I discuss various other cases that are meant to show that acting in accordance with one’s beliefs does not render one blameless. I argue that in these cases, even though the subjects act in accordance with their own beliefs, there is plenty of reason to think that at some previous point in time they violated certain intellectual obligations that led to them to hold those beliefs. Even on a radically subjective account of responsibility, then, we can perfectly well hold these people responsible for their beliefs. I go on to defend the idea that reasons-responsiveness will not do for doxastic responsibility: we need influence on our beliefs as well. Thus, doxastic compatibilism or rationalism is untenable. Subsequently, I defend my earlier claim that there is a crucial difference between beliefs and actions in that actions are often subject to the will, whereas beliefs are not. Finally, I respond to White’s worry that if one has a subjective epistemic obligation just because one believes that certain actions are epistemically bad, some people will have a wide range of absurd epistemic obligations, such as the obligation to listen to Infowars.
5. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 44
Sanford C. Goldberg Doxastic Responsibility is Owed to Others: Against Subjectivism
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In this paper I argue that Rik Peels’s account of doxastic responsibility (in his 2017 book Responsible Belief) is too subjectivist, as it fails to deliver the correct verdicts in some cases in which one’s responsibilities derive from a social role and where one has misleading higher-order evidence about the first-order evidence. The take-home point is that the notion of responsibility in doxastic responsibility is something that is owed to others.
6. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 44
Rik Peels The Social Dimension of Responsible Belief: Response to Sanford Goldberg
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Goldberg has argued in several writings of his that our social context is crucial in determining whether we believe responsibly or not. In this reply to his criticisms, I explore whether my Influence Account of responsible belief can do justice to this social dimension of responsible belief. I discuss the case of Nancy the scientist, that of Fernando the doctor, and that of Janice who promises Ismelda to shovel her lane. I argue that the core solution to the challenges these cases provide is to distinguish between different kinds of intellectual obligations, such as epistemic, moral, and professional obligations. My Influence Account leaves plenty of room to make these distinctions. Even though my account is not primarily meant as an account of epistemically justified belief but rather as an account of responsible belief, I also argue that it can accommodate our intuitions about various important cases of epistemically (un)justified belief.
7. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 44
Takuya Niikawa Classification of Disjunctivism about the Phenomenology of Visual Experience
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This paper proposes a classificatory framework for disjunctivism about the phenomenology of visual perceptual experience. Disjunctivism of this sort is typically divided into positive and negative disjunctivism. This distinction successfully reflects the disagreement amongst disjunctivists regarding the explanatory status of the introspective indiscriminability of veridical perception and hallucination. However, it is unsatisfactory in two respects. First, it cannot accommodate eliminativism about the phenomenology of hallucination. Second, the class of positive disjunctivism is too coarse-grained to provide an informative overview of the current dialectical landscape. Given this, I propose a classificatory framework which preserves the positive-negative distinction, but which also includes the distinction between eliminativism and non-eliminativism, as well as a distinction between two subclasses of positive disjunctivism. In describing each class in detail, I specify who takes up each position in the existing literature, and demonstrate that this classificatory framework can disambiguate some existing disjunctivist views.
8. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 44
René van Woudenberg, Naomi Kloosterboer Three Transparency Principles Examined
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This paper derives, from Richard Moran’s work, three different accounts of doxastic Transparency—roughly, the view that when a rational person wants to know whether she believes that p, she directs her attention to the truth-value of p, not to the mental attitude she has vis-à-vis p. We investigate which of these is the most plausible of the three by discussing a number of (classes of) examples. We conclude that the most plausible account of Transparency is in tension with the motivation behind Transparency accounts: it is disconnected from the deliberative stance.
9. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 44
Bob Fischer, Eric Gilbertson How Lewis Can Meet the Integration Challenge
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We show that Lewis’s modal realism, and his serviceability-based argument for it, cohere with his epistemological contextualism. Modal realism explains why serviceability-based reasoning in metaphysics might be reliable, while Lewis’s contextualism explains why Lewis can properly ignore the possibility that serviceability isn’t reliable, at least when doing metaphysics. This is because Lewis’s contextualism includes a commitment to a kind of pragmatic encroachment, so that whether a subject knows can depend on how much is at stake with respect to whether the belief is true or false. Accordingly, we suggest that Lewis can count as knowing that serviceability is a reliable guide to truth in metaphysics, since the stakes are generally low there, and so can be justified in believing that modal realism is true based on its serviceability.
10. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 44
Brannon McDaniel On Armstrong’s Difficulties with Adequate Truthmaking Restrictions
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D. M. Armstrong rejects various ontologies that posit truths without truthmakers. But, lest proponents of such questionable ontologies postulate suspicious truthmakers in a bid to regain ontological respectability, Armstrong requires a plausible restriction on truthmaking that eliminates such ontologies. I discuss three different candidate restrictions: categorical, natural, and intrinsic difference-making. While the categorical and natural restrictions eliminate the questionable ontologies, they also eliminate Armstrong’s own ontology. The intrinsic difference-making restriction, on the other hand, fails to eliminate any of them. Thus Armstrong lacks a principled reason for rejecting such ontologies.