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The Nature of Normativity$
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Ralph Wedgwood

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199251315

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199251315.001.0001

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Disagreement and the A Priori

Disagreement and the A Priori

(p.248) 11 Disagreement and the A Priori
The Nature of Normativity

Ralph Wedgwood (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter traces out some implications of this epistemological account. First, it is explained how the account developed in Chapter 10 implies that under favourable conditions, normative truths are knowable a priori; but they are a special case of the a priori, differing in important ways from other forms of a priori truths, such as logical and mathematical truths. The remainder of the chapter is devoted to a further problem: the existence of widespread and persistent disagreement about normative questions. It is argued that it can be rational to persist in one's normative belief, even if those who disagree with one's belief include thinkers who are equally intelligent, thoughtful, and well informed about the non-normative facts (i.e., thinkers who are one's ‘epistemic peers’). Contrary to what some philosophers might assume, this view is quite compatible with the realist conception of the normative that this book is designed to defend.

Keywords:   logical truths, mathematical truths, epistemic peers, realism

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