Several philosophers have recently argued that disagreement with others undermines or precludes epistemic justification for our opinions about controversial issues. This amounts to a fascinating and disturbing kind of intellectual scepticism. A crucial piece of the sceptical argument, however, is that our opponents on such topics are epistemic peers. In this paper, I examine the reasons for why we might think that our opponents really are such peers, and I argue that those reasons are either too weak or too strong, (...) implying absurd conclusions. Thus, there is not a compelling case for disagreement-based intellectual scepticism. (shrink)
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. (shrink)
In Harrison and Tanner's ‘Better Not to Have Children’, it's argued that having children is immoral as well as detrimental to one's well-being. In this article, I argue against those claims and defend the position that, for most people, having children is morally permissible and greatly enhances their well-being.