Undermining, circularity, and disagreement

Synthese 190 (3):563-584 (2013)
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Abstract

Sometimes we get what seem to be good reasons for believing that we’ve misevaluated our evidence for a proposition P. In those cases, can we use our evidence for P itself to show that we haven’t misevaluated our evidence for P? I show why doing so appears to employ viciously circular reasoning. However, I then argue that this appearance is illusory in certain cases and that we sometimes can legitimately reason in that way. This claim sheds new light on the nature of epistemic undermining and epistemic circularity. In addition, it has implications for the current debate about the epistemic significance of disagreement. An important and influential position in that debate says that disagreement with others dramatically undermines our justification for a wide range of our opinions (e.g., political, religious, moral, economic, and philosophical opinions). My view on undermining and circularity implies that this position on disagreement rests on a mistake.

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Author's Profile

Andrew Rotondo
University of New England (United States)

Citations of this work

Disagreement.Jonathan Matheson & Bryan Frances - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Disagreement and Intellectual Scepticism.Andrew Rotondo - 2015 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (2):251-271.
Reasons Against Belief: A Theory of Epistemic Defeat.Tim Loughrist - 2015 - Dissertation, University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Fallibility and Normativity.DiPaolo Joshua - 2016 - Dissertation, University of Massachusetts - Amherst

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References found in this work

Skepticism and the Veil of Perception.Michael Huemer (ed.) - 2001 - Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield.
Epistemology of disagreement: The good news.David Christensen - 2007 - Philosophical Review 116 (2):187-217.

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