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John Pittard
Yale University
  1. Metanormative Contextualism and Normative Uncertainty.John Pittard & Alex Worsnip - 2017 - Mind 126 (501):155-193.
    We offer a new argument in favour of metanormative contextualism, the thesis that the semantic value of a normative ‘ought’ claim of the form ‘ S ought to Φ’ depends on the value of one or more parameters whose values vary in a way that is determined by the context of utterance. The debate over this contextualist thesis has centred on cases that involve ‘ought’ claims made in the face of uncertainty regarding certain descriptive facts. Contextualists, relativists, and invariantists all (...)
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  2.  79
    Resolute Conciliationism.John Pittard - 2015 - Philosophical Quarterly 65 (260):442-463.
    ‘Conciliationism’ is the view that disagreement with qualified disputants gives us a powerful reason for doubting our disputed views, a reason that will often be sufficient to defeat what would otherwise be strong evidential justification for our position. Conciliationism is disputed by many qualified philosophers, a fact that has led many to conclude that conciliationism is self-defeating. After examining one prominent response to this challenge and finding it wanting, I develop a fresh approach to the problem. I identify two levels (...)
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  3.  78
    Conciliationism and Religious Disagreement.John Pittard - 2014 - In Michael Bergmann & Patrick Kain (eds.), Challenges to Moral and Religious Belief: Disagreement and Evolution. Oxford University Press. pp. 80-97.
    Many have maintained that the nature and extent of religious disagreement ought to shake our confidence in our religious or explicitly irreligious beliefs, leading us to be religious skeptics. This chapter argues that the most plausible ‘conciliatory’ view of disagreement does not lend support to religious skepticism. ‘Strong’ conciliatory views that say that one’s response to a disagreement should always be entirely determined by dispute-independent reasons are implausible. The only plausible conciliationism is a moderate version that holds that one’s partisan (...)
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  4.  40
    When Beauties Disagree: Why Halfers Should Affirm Robust Perspectivalism.John Pittard - 2015 - Oxford Studies in Epistemology 5.
    In this paper I present a variant of the “Sleeping Beauty” case that shows that the “halfer” approach to the original Sleeping Beauty problem is incompatible with an extremely plausible principle pertaining to cases of disagreement. This principle says that, in “nonpermissive” contexts, the weight you give to a disputant’s view ought to be proportional to your estimation of the strength of the disputant’s epistemic position with respect to the disputed proposition. In requiring such proportionality, the principle denies the possibility (...)
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  5. Evil and God's Toxin Puzzle.John Pittard - 2016 - Noûs 50 (2):88-108.
    I show that Kavka's toxin puzzle raises a problem for the “Responsibility Theodicy,” which holds that the reason God typically does not intervene to stop the evil effects of our actions is that such intervention would undermine the possibility of our being significantly responsible for overcoming and averting evil. This prominent theodicy seems to require that God be able to do what the agent in Kavka's toxin story cannot do: stick by a plan to do some action at a future (...)
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  6. Religious Disagreement.John Pittard - 2015 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  7.  52
    Disagreement, Reliability, and Resilience.John Pittard - 2017 - Synthese 194 (11):4389-4409.
    Alex Worsnip has recently argued against conciliatory views that say that the degree of doxastic revision required in light of disagreement is a function of one’s antecedent reliability estimates for oneself and one’s disputant. According to Worsnip, the degree of doxastic revision is also sensitive to the resilience of these estimates; in particular, when one has positive “net resilience,” meaning that one is more confident in one’s estimate of one’s own reliability than in one’s estimate of the disputant’s reliability, less (...)
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  8.  42
    Fundamental Disagreements and the Limits of Instrumentalism.John Pittard - 2019 - Synthese 196 (12):5009-5038.
    I argue that the skeptical force of a disagreement is mitigated to the extent that it is fundamental, where a fundamental disagreement is one that is driven by differences in epistemic starting points. My argument has three steps. First, I argue that proponents of conciliatory policies have good reason to affirm a view that I call “instrumentalism,” a view that commends treating our doxastic inclinations like instrumental readouts. Second, I show that instrumentalism supplies a basis for demanding conciliatory requirements in (...)
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  9. Disagreement, Religious.John Pittard - 2015 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Religious Disagreement The domain of religious inquiry is characterized by pervasive and seemingly intractable disagreement. Whatever stance one takes on central religious questions—for example, whether God exists, what the nature of God might be, whether the world has a purpose, whether there is life beyond death—one will stand opposed to a large contingent of highly … Continue reading Disagreement, Religious →.
     
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  10.  11
    Disagreement, Deference, and Religious Commitment.John Pittard - 2019 - New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press.
    Every known religious or explicitly irreligious outlook is contested by large contingents of informed and reasonable people. Many philosophers have argued that reflection on this fact should lead us to abandon confident religious or irreligious belief and to embrace religious skepticism. John Pittard critically assesses the case for such disagreement-motivated religious skepticism. While the book focuses on religious disagreement, it makes a number of significant contributions to the more general discussion of the rational significance of disagreement as well.
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