Synthese 198 (1):557-582 (2018)

Joshua DiPaolo
California State University, Fullerton
Recent political events suggest that there is more political, religious, and moral division than many had previously realized. Since people on all sides think they’re in the right, mitigating division is in everyone’s interest. But overcoming division requires changing minds, and changing minds requires advocacy. These considerations raise important questions in the epistemology of advocacy. In particular, who are the best advocates? After making some general remarks about the epistemology of advocacy, I explore the thought, found in Berkeley’s dialogue Alciphron, that an important variable to consider when assessing advocates is whether they are converts. I argue that this is indeed an important variable to consider, as certain kinds of converts can avoid some attempts to dismiss advocates. However, non-converts score better than converts in other respects. I conclude by suggesting that empirical work must be done to assess the role conversion plays in assessing advocates.
Keywords Conversion  Testimony  Trust  Distrust  Divisions in Belief  Advocacy  Authority  Bias  Credibility
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-018-02042-3
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References found in this work BETA

Echo Chambers and Epistemic Bubbles.C. Thi Nguyen - 2020 - Episteme 17 (2):141-161.
Against Democracy: New Preface.Jason Brennan - 2016 - Princeton University Press.
Reflection and Disagreement.Adam Elga - 2007 - Noûs 41 (3):478–502.
The Logic of Scientific Discovery.K. Popper - 1959 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 10 (37):55-57.

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Citations of this work BETA

Conversion, Causes, and Closed-Mindedness.Joshua Dipaolo - 2020 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 6 (1):74-95.

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