Disagreement, Dogmatism, and Belief Polarization

Journal of Philosophy 105 (10):611-633 (2008)
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Abstract

Suppose that you and I disagree about some non-straightforward matter of fact (say, about whether capital punishment tends to have a deterrent effect on crime). Psychologists have demonstrated the following striking phenomenon: if you and I are subsequently exposed to a mixed body of evidence that bears on the question, doing so tends to increase the extent of our initial disagreement. That is, in response to exactly the same evidence, each of us grows increasingly confident of his or her original view; we thus become increasingly polarized as our common evidence increases. I consider several alternative models of how people reason about newly-acquired evidence which seems to disconfirm their prior beliefs. I then explore the normative implications of these models for the phenomenon in question

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Thomas Kelly
Princeton University

Citations of this work

Rational Polarization.Kevin Dorst - 2023 - Philosophical Review 132 (3):355-458.
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References found in this work

On Two Paradoxes of Knowledge.Saul Kripke - 2011 - In Saul A. Kripke (ed.), Philosophical Troubles. Collected Papers Vol I. Oxford University Press.
Heeding misleading evidence.Earl Conee - 2001 - Philosophical Studies 103 (2):99-120.
Why bayesian psychology is incomplete.Frank Döring - 1999 - Philosophy of Science 66 (3):389.
Why Bayesian Psychology Is Incomplete.Frank Döring - 1999 - Philosophy of Science 66 (S1):S379 - S389.

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