Southwest Philosophy Review 34 (1):103-116 (2018)

Thomas Metcalf
Spring Hill College
I present a new way to resolve some peer disagreements in philosophy. While a straightforward majority-based argument would be inconclusive, I show that some philosophical majorities are special cases. I focus on the example of moral realism. First, I discuss how mathematically, small variations in our justified confidence in some particular cognizer’s judgment entail large differences in our justified confidence in the decision of a populous voting bloc comprising such cognizers. Second, I argue that plausible considerations about epistemic and moral virtue justify putting slightly more trust in moral realists’ judgments than we would in other philosophers’ judgments. This inspires a new argument for resolving this debate in favor of moral realism, an argument that is stronger than a simple majority-based argument and has advantages over traditional arguments for moral realism. I conclude by suggesting how this tactic may apply to other philosophical debates that feature peer disagreement.
Keywords Conference Proceedings  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
Categories No categories specified
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ISBN(s) 0897-2346
DOI 10.5840/swphilreview201834111
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