On Behalf of Controversial View Agnosticism

European Journal of Philosophy (4):1358-1370 (2018)

J. Adam Carter
Glasgow University
Controversial view agnosticism (CVA) is the thesis that we are rationally obligated to withhold judgment about a large portion of our beliefs in controversial subject areas, such as philosophy, re- ligion, morality and politics. Given that one’s social identity is in no small part a function of one’s positive commitments in controversial areas, CVA has unsurprisingly been regarded as objection- ably ‘spineless.’ at said, CVA seems like an unavoidable consequence of a prominent view in the epistemology of disagreement—conformism—according to which the rational response to discover- ing that someone you identify as an epistemic peer or expert about p disagrees with you vis-à-vis p is to withhold judgment. is paper proposes a novel way to maintain the core conciliatory in- sight without devolving into an agnosticism that is objectionably spineless. e approach offered takes as a starting point the observation that–for reasons that will be made clear—the contemporary debate has bypassed the issue of the reasonableness of maintaining, rather than giving up, represen- tational states weaker than belief in controversial areas. e new position developed and defended here explores this overlooked space; what results is a kind of controversial view agnosticism that is compatible with the kinds of commitments that are integral to social identity.
Keywords disagreement  epistemology  peer disagreement
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DOI 10.1111/ejop.12333
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References found in this work BETA

Epistemology of Disagreement: The Good News.David Christensen - 2007 - Philosophical Review 116 (2):187-217.
Doxastic Deliberation.Nishi Shah & J. David Velleman - 2005 - Philosophical Review 114 (4):497-534.
Reflection and Disagreement.Adam Elga - 2007 - Noûs 41 (3):478–502.
Epistemological Puzzles About Disagreement.Richard Feldman - 2006 - In Stephen Hetherington (ed.), Epistemology Futures. Oxford University Press. pp. 216-236.

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Publishing Without Belief.Alexandra Plakias - forthcoming - Analysis:anz040.

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