Plausible Permissivism

Abstract

Abstract. Richard Feldman’s Uniqueness Thesis holds that “a body of evidence justifies at most one proposition out of a competing set of proposi- tions”. The opposing position, permissivism, allows distinct rational agents to adopt differing attitudes towards a proposition given the same body of evidence. We assess various motivations that have been offered for Uniqueness, including: concerns about achieving consensus, a strong form of evidentialism, worries about epistemically arbitrary influences on belief, a focus on truth-conduciveness, and consequences for peer disagreement. We argue that each of these motivations either misunderstands the commitments of permissivism or is question-begging. Better understanding permissivism makes it a much more plausible position.

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Matthew Kopec
Harvard University

Citations of this work

Evidence: A Guide for the Uncertain.Kevin Dorst - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 100 (3):586-632.
The Uniqueness Thesis.Matthew Kopec & Michael G. Titelbaum - 2016 - Philosophy Compass 11 (4):189-200.
Higher-order uncertainty.Kevin Dorst - 2019 - In Mattias Skipper & Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen (eds.), Higher-Order Evidence: New Essays. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.

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References found in this work

The Foundations of Statistics.Leonard J. Savage - 1954 - Wiley Publications in Statistics.
Logical foundations of probability.Rudolf Carnap - 1950 - Chicago]: Chicago University of Chicago Press.
Ethics and the limits of philosophy.Bernard Williams - 1985 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Taking Morality Seriously: A Defense of Robust Realism.David Enoch - 2011 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press UK.
Reason, Truth and History.Hilary Putnam - 1981 - New York: Cambridge University Press.

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