Safely Denying Phenomenal Conservatism

Erkenntnis 87 (6):2685-2700 (2022)
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Abstract

Phenomenal Conservatism is an ethics of belief that has received considerable support in recent years. One of the main arguments for it is the Self-Defeat Argument. The argument claims that the denial of Phenomenal Conservatism is self-defeating. The argument is at present highly controversial, with both supporters and critics. Critics have failed to discern the real problems with the argument: (I) that there are reasons to deny Phenomenal Conservatism that avoid the self-defeat in question and (II) the conclusion of the Self-Defeat Argument, even if true, is still compatible with our properly denying Phenomenal Conservatism. I spell out these problems in more detail here.

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Aaran Steven Burns
Keele University

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