David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
I argue with my friends a lot. That is, I offer them reasons to believe all sorts of philosophical conclusions. Sadly, despite the quality of my arguments, and despite their apparent intelligence, they don’t always agree. They keep insisting on principles in the face of my wittier and wittier counterexamples, and they keep offering their own dull alleged counterexamples to my clever principles. What is a philosopher to do in these circumstances? (And I don’t mean get better friends.) One popular answer these days is that I should, to some extent, defer to my friends. If I look at a batch of reasons and conclude p, and my equally talented friend reaches an incompatible conclusion q, I should revise my opinion so I’m now undecided between p and q. I should, in the preferred lingo, assign equal weight to my view as to theirs. This is despite the fact that I’ve looked at their reasons for concluding q and found them wanting. If I hadn’t, I would have already concluded q. The mere fact that a friend (from now on I’ll leave off the qualifier ‘equally talented and informed’, since all my friends satisfy that) reaches a contrary opinion should be reason to move me. Such a position is defended by Richard Feldman (2006a, 2006b), David Christensen (2007) and Adam Elga (forthcoming). This equal weight view, hereafter EW, is itself a philosophical position. And while some of my friends believe it, some of my friends do not. (Nor, I should add for your benefit, do I.) This raises an odd little dilemma. If EW is correct, then the fact that my friends disagree about it means that I shouldn’t be particularly confident that it is true, since EW says that I shouldn’t be too confident about any position on which my friends disagree. But, as I’ll argue below, to consistently implement EW, I have to be maximally confident that it is true. So to accept EW, I have to inconsistently both be very confident that it is true and not very confident that it is true. This seems like a problem, and a reason to not accept EW..
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Only published papers are available at libraries|
Similar books and articles
Zena Hitz (2011). Aristotle on Self-Knowledge and Friendship. Philosophers' Imprint 11 (12):1-28.
James McEvoy (2003). Too Many Friends or None at All? A “Difference” Between Aristotle and Postmodernity. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 77 (1):1-19.
Caroline J. Simon (1993). Just Friends, Friends and Lovers, Or…? Philosophy and Theology 8 (2):113-128.
Barry Lam (2011). On the Rationality of Belief-Invariance in Light of Peer Disagreement. Philosophical Review 120 (2):207 - 245.
Jeff Jordan (2001). Why Friends Shouldn't Let Friends Be Eaten: An Argument for Vegetarianism. Social Theory and Practice 27 (2):309-322.
Adam Elga (2007). Reflection and Disagreement. Noûs 41 (3):478–502.
Tomas Bogardus (2009). A Vindication of the Equal-Weight View. Episteme 6 (3):324-335.
Tomas Bogardus (2013). Disagreeing with the (Religious) Skeptic. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 74 (1):5-17.
Marie I. George (2008). Aquinas on Whether One Ought to Confide All One's Problems to True Friends. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 82:173-188.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads122 ( #5,793 of 1,008,728 )
Recent downloads (6 months)8 ( #12,474 of 1,008,728 )
How can I increase my downloads?