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The Epistemology of DisagreementNew Essays$
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David Christensen and Jennifer Lackey

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199698370

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199698370.001.0001

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Philosophical Renegades

Philosophical Renegades

Chapter:
(p.121) 6 Philosophical Renegades
Source:
The Epistemology of Disagreement
Author(s):

Bryan Frances

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199698370.003.0007

If you retain your belief upon learning that a large number and percentage of your recognized epistemic superiors disagree with you, then what happens to the epistemic status of your belief? Bryan Frances investigates this theoretical question as well as the applied case of philosophical disagreement—especially disagreement regarding purely philosophical error theories, theories that do not have much empirical support and that reject large swaths of our most commonsensical beliefs. He argues that even if all those error theories are false, either (a) the average philosopher's true commonsensical beliefs are epistemically impoverished, or (b) a good portion of philosophy is bunk and philosophers should give up most of their error theories despite the fact that their supporting arguments are generally as good as or even better than other philosophical arguments.

Keywords:   skepticism, error theory, disagreement, higher-order evidence, common sense, epistemic superior, metaphilosophy, testimony, epistemic duty, epistemic blame

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