Incommensurability and Wide-Ranging Arguments for Steadfastness in Religious Disagreements: Increasingly Popular, But Eventually Complacent

Topoi 40 (5):1149-1159 (2019)
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Choo and Pittard recently have presented new attractive incommensurability arguments for remaining steadfast in religious beliefs even when disagreeing with sophisticated disputants. This article responds to the latest iteration of this genre in the work of Choo, and does double duty evaluating more generally the merits of this genre, which is becoming increasingly more popular since originally championed by Alston. Both Choo and Alston argue that it is reasonable to stay steadfast in one’s religious beliefs when there are no commensurable ways of evaluating the disputant’s claims. This paper first describes four views about disagreement that inform Choo’s conclusion, one of which is the incommensurability argument similarly championed by Alston. Incommensurability arguments are attractive, but, when deployed in the most challenging disagreements, ultimately complacent.



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