Can Hinge Epistemology Close the Door on Epistemic Relativism?

Synthese (1-2):1-27 (2021)

Abstract

I argue that a standard formulation of hinge epistemology is host to epistemic relativism and show that two leading hinge approaches (Coliva’s acceptance account and Pritchard’s nondoxastic account) are vulnerable to a form of incommensurability that leads to relativism. Building on both accounts, I introduce a new, minimally epistemic conception of hinges that avoids epistemic relativism and rationally resolves hinge disagreements. According to my proposed account, putative cases of epistemic incommensurability are rationally resolvable: hinges are propositions that are the objects of our belief-like attitudes and are rationally revisable in virtue of our overarching commitment to avoid systematic deception in our epistemic practices.

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