Conciliation, Uniqueness and Rational Toxicity

Noûs 50 (3):584-603 (2016)
David Christensen
Brown University
Conciliationism holds that disagreement of apparent epistemic peers often substantially undermines rational confidence in our opinions. Uniqueness principles say that there is at most one maximally rational doxastic response to any given batch of total evidence. The two views are often thought to be tightly connected. This paper distinguishes two ways of motivating conciliationism, and two ways that conciliationism may be undermined by permissive accounts of rationality. It shows how conciliationism can flourish under certain strongly permissive accounts of rationality. This occurs when the motivation for conciliationism does not come from taking disagreement as evidence of one's own rational failings. However, divorcing the motive for conciliating from worries about rationality does not remove a feature of conciliationism that some find troubling: that conciliationism can lead to cases of “rational toxicity,” in which the most rational response to one's evidence involves violating some rational ideal.
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DOI 10.1111/nous.12077
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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.
Higher‐Order Evidence and the Limits of Defeat.Maria Lasonen‐Aarnio - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (2):314-345.
Reflection and Disagreement.Adam Elga - 2007 - Noûs 41 (3):478–502.
Higher-Order Evidence.David Christensen - 2010 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (1):185-215.

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Citations of this work BETA

Belief Dependence: How Do the Numbers Count?Zach Barnett - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-23.
A Counterexample to the Uniqueness Thesis.Matthew Kopec - 2015 - Philosophia 43 (2):403-409.
Irrelevant Influences.Katia Vavova - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research:134-152.

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