Midwest Studies in Philosophy 45:371-391 (2021)

Quassim Cassam
University of Warwick
This article explicates the notion of doubt and the relationship of doubt to belief and conviction. It distinguishes three types of political virtue—leadership, systemic, and corrective—and considers whether doubt is a political virtue in any of these three senses. It is argued that while doubt is not a leadership virtue, it is a systemic and a corrective virtue. Specifically, it is potentially an antidote to methods, ideological, and psychological extremism. A distinction is drawn between extremism and forms of radicalism that have resulted in social progress. It is possible for doubt to play a role in countering extremism without thereby also countering progressive radicalism. The concluding section develops a theory of deradicalization and identifies the role of radical doubt in deradicalization programmes. The proposed empirically informed account of deradicalization highlights the role of narratives in radicalization and deradicalization.
Keywords Analytic Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy
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DOI 10.5840/msp20219104
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