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Scott F. Aikin [84]Scott Aikin [56]Scott Forrest Aikin [2]
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Scott Aikin
Vanderbilt University
  1. Political Argument in a Polarized Age.Scott Aikin & Robert B. Talisse - 2020 - Medford, MA, USA: Polity.
  2.  80
    Deep Disagreement, the Dark Enlightenment, and the Rhetoric of the Red Pill.Scott F. Aikin - 2019 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 36 (3):420-435.
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  3. Epistemology and the Regress Problem.Scott F. Aikin - 2010 - Routledge.
    In the last decade, the familiar problem of the regress of reasons has returned to prominent consideration in epistemology. And with the return of the problem, evaluation of the options available for its solution is begun anew. Reason’s regress problem, roughly put, is that if one has good reasons to believe something, one must have good reason to hold those reasons are good. And for those reasons, one must have further reasons to hold they are good, and so a regress (...)
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  4.  85
    Deep Disagreement and the Problem of the Criterion.Scott F. Aikin - 2021 - Topoi 40 (5):1017-1024.
    My objective in this paper is to compare two philosophical problems, the problem of the criterion and the problem of deep disagreement, and note a core similarity which explains why many proposed solutions to these problems seem to fail along similar lines. From this observation, I propose a kind of skeptical solution to the problem of deep disagreement, and this skeptical program has consequences for the problem as it manifests in political epistemology and metaphilosophy.
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  5.  18
    Straw Man Arguments.Scott Aikin & John Casey - 2022 - London, UK: Bloomsbury.
    This book analyses the straw man fallacy and its deployment in philosophical reasoning. While commonly invoked in both academic dialogue and public discourse, it has not until now received the attention it deserves as a rhetorical device. Scott Aikin and John Casey propose that straw manning essentially consists in expressing distorted representations of one's critical interlocutor. To this end, the straw man comprises three dialectical forms, and not only the one that is usually suggested: the straw man, the weak man (...)
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  6. Developing Group-Deliberative Virtues.Scott F. Aikin & J. Caleb Clanton - 2010 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 27 (4):409-424.
    In this paper, the authors argue for two main claims: first, that the epistemic results of group deliberation can be superior to those of individual inquiry; and, second, that successful deliberative groups depend on individuals exhibiting deliberative virtues. The development of these group-deliberative virtues, the authors argue, is important not only for epistemic purposes but political purposes, as democracies require the virtuous deliberation of their citizens. Deliberative virtues contribute to the deliberative synergy of the group, not only in terms of (...)
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  7.  57
    A defense of war and sport metaphors in argument.Scott Aikin - 2011 - Philosophy and Rhetoric 44 (3):250-272.
    There is a widely held concern that using war and sport metaphors to describe argument contributes to the breakdown of argumentative processes. The thumbnail version of this worry about such metaphors is that they promote adversarial conceptions of argument that lead interlocutors with those conceptions to behave adversarially in argumentative contexts. These actions are often aggressive, which undermines argument exchange by either excluding many from such exchanges or turning exchanges more into verbal battles. These worries are legitimate as far as (...)
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  8.  32
    Evidentialism and the Will to Believe.Scott F. Aikin - 2014 - London, UK: Bloomsbury.
    An examination of the history and arguments behind W.K. Clifford and William James's landmark essays and subsequent impact on the importance of knowledge-based evidence.
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  9.  76
    Pragmatism a guide for the perplexed.Robert B. Talisse & Scott F. Aikin - 2008 - London, UK: Continuum.
    The origins of pragmatism -- Pragmatism and epistemology -- Pragmatism and truth -- Pragmatism and metaphysics -- Pragmatism and ethics -- Pragmatism and politics -- Pragmatism and environmental ethics.
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  10. Who is Afraid of Epistemology’s Regress Problem?Scott F. Aikin - 2005 - Philosophical Studies 126 (2):191-217.
    What follows is a taxonomy of arguments that regresses of inferential justification are vicious. They fall out into four general classes: conceptual arguments from incompleteness, conceptual arguments from arbitrariness, ought-implies-can arguments from human quantitative incapacities, and ought-implies can arguments from human qualitative incapacities. They fail with a developed theory of "infinitism" consistent with valuational pluralism and modest epistemic foundationalism.
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  11. Straw Men, Weak Men, and Hollow Men.Scott F. Aikin & John Casey - 2011 - Argumentation 25 (1):87-105.
    Three forms of the straw man fallacy are posed: the straw, weak, and hollow man. Additionally, there can be non-fallacious cases of any of these species of straw man arguments.
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  12.  87
    Two Forms of the Straw Man.Robert Talisse & Scott F. Aikin - 2006 - Argumentation 20 (3):345-352.
    The authors identify and offer an analysis of a new form of the Straw Man fallacy, and then explore the implications of the prevalence of this fallacy for contemporary political discourse.
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  13. Meta-epistemology and the varieties of epistemic infinitism.Scott F. Aikin - 2008 - Synthese 163 (2):175-185.
    I will assume here the defenses of epistemic infinitism are adequate and inquire as to the variety standpoints within the view. I will argue that infinitism has three varieties depending on the strength of demandingness of the infinitist requirement and the purity of its conception of epistemic justification, each of which I will term strong pure, strong impure, and weak impure infinitisms. Further, I will argue that impure infinitisms have the dialectical advantage.
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  14.  8
    Why We Argue : A Guide to Political Disagreement.Scott F. Aikin & Robert B. Talisse - 2013 - Routledge.
    Why We Argue : A Guide to Political Disagreement presents an accessible and engaging introduction to the theory of argument, with special emphasis on the way argument works in public political debate. The authors develop a view according to which proper argument is necessary for one’s individual cognitive health; this insight is then expanded to the collective health of one’s society. Proper argumentation, then, is seen to play a central role in a well-functioning democracy. Written in a lively style and (...)
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  15.  22
    The Owl of Minerva Problem.Scott Aikin - 2020 - Southwest Philosophy Review 36 (1):13-22.
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  16.  20
    Argumentation and the problem of agreement.John Casey & Scott F. Aikin - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-23.
    A broad assumption in argumentation theory is that argumentation primarily regards resolving, confronting, or managing disagreement. This assumption is so fundamental that even when there does not appear to be any real disagreement, the disagreement is suggested to be present at some other level. Some have questioned this assumption, but most are reluctant to give up on the key idea that persuasion, the core of argumentation theory, can only regard disagreements. We argue here that this assumption is false. Argument may (...)
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  17. Dialecticality and Deep Disagreement.Scott F. Aikin - 2018 - Symposion: Theoretical and Applied Inquiries in Philosophy and Social Sciences 5 (2):173-179.
    In this paper, I will argue for a complex of three theses. First, that the problem of deep disagreement is an instance of the regress problem of justification. Second, that the problem of deep disagreement, as a regress problem, depends on a dialecticality requirement for arguments. Third, that the dialecticality requirement is plausible and defensible.
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  18.  38
    The Pragmatism Reader: From Peirce Through the Present.Robert B. Talisse & Scott F. Aikin (eds.) - 2011 - Princeton University Press.
    The Pragmatism Reader is the essential anthology of this important philosophical movement. Each selection featured here is a key writing by a leading pragmatist thinker, and represents a distinctively pragmatist approach to a core philosophical problem. The collection includes work by pragmatism's founders, Charles Peirce, William James, and John Dewey, as well as seminal writings by mid-twentieth-century pragmatists such as Sidney Hook, C. I. Lewis, Nelson Goodman, Rudolf Carnap, Wilfrid Sellars, and W.V.O. Quine. This reader also includes the most important (...)
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  19.  14
    Bothsiderism.Scott F. Aikin & John P. Casey - 2022 - Argumentation 36 (2):249-268.
    This paper offers an account of a fallacy we will call bothsiderism, which is to mistake disagreement on an issue for evidence that either a compromise on, suspension of judgment regarding, or continued discussion of the issue is in order. Our view is that this is a fallacy of a unique and heretofore untheorized type, a fallacy of meta-argumentation. The paper develops as follows. After a brief introduction, we examine a recent bothsiderist case in American politics. We use this as (...)
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  20.  47
    Straw Men, Iron Men, and Argumentative Virtue.Scott F. Aikin & John P. Casey - 2016 - Topoi 35 (2):431-440.
    The straw man fallacy consists in inappropriately constructing or selecting weak versions of the opposition’s arguments. We will survey the three forms of straw men recognized in the literature, the straw, weak, and hollow man. We will then make the case that there are examples of inappropriately reconstructing stronger versions of the opposition’s arguments. Such cases we will call iron man fallacies. The difference between appropriate and inappropriate iron manning clarifies the limits of the virtue of open-mindedness.
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  21. Pragmatism, Naturalism, and Phenomenology.Scott F. Aikin - 2007 - Human Studies 29 (3):317-340.
    Pragmatism's naturalism is inconsistent with the phenomenological tradition's anti-naturalism. This poses a problem for the methodological consistency of phenomenological work in the pragmatist tradition. Solutions such as phenomenologizing naturalism or naturalizing phenomenology have been proposed, but they fail. As a consequence, pragmatists and other naturalists must answer the phenomenological tradition's criticisms of naturalism.
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  22.  17
    What Optimistic Responses to Deep Disagreement get Right.Scott F. Aikin - 2020 - Co-herencia 17 (32):225-238.
    In this paper, I argue for three theses. First, that the problem of Deep Disagreement is usefully understood as an instance of the skeptical Problem of the Criterion. Second, there are structural similarities between proposed optimistic answers to deep disagreement and the problem of the criterion. Third, in light of these similarities, there are both good and bad consequences for proposed solutions to the problem of deep disagreement.
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  23. Tu Quoque Arguments and the Significance of Hypocrisy.Scott F. Aikin - 2008 - Informal Logic 28 (2):155-169.
    Though textbook tu quoque arguments are fallacies of relevance, many versions of arguments from hypocrisy are indirectly relevant to the issue. Some arguments from hypocrisy are challenges to the authority of a speaker on the basis of either her sincerity or competency regarding the issue. Other arguments from hypocrisy purport to be evidence of the impracticability of the opponent’s proposals. Further, some versions of hypocrisy charges from impracticability are open to a counter that I will term tu quoque judo.
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  24.  18
    Argumentative Adversariality, Contrastive Reasons, and the Winners-and-Losers Problem.Scott Aikin - 2021 - Topoi 40 (5):837-844.
    This essay has two connected theses. First, that given the contrastivity of reasons, a form of dialectical adversariality of argument follows. This dialectical adversariality accounts for a broad variety of both argumentative virtues and vices. Second, in light of this contrastivist view of reasons, the primary objection to argumentative adversarialism, the winners-and-losers problem, can be answered.
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  25. Prospects for Peircean Epistemic Infinitism.Scott F. Aikin - 2009 - Contemporary Pragmatism 6 (2):71-87.
    Epistemic infinitism is the view that infinite series of inferential relations are productive of epistemic justification. Peirce is explicitly infinitist in his early work, namely his 1868 series of articles. Further, Peirce's semiotic categories of firsts, seconds, and thirds favors a mixed theory of justification. The conclusion is that Peirce was an infinitist, and particularly, what I will term an impure infinitist. However, the prospects for Peirce's infinitism depend entirely on the prospects for Peirce's early semantics, which are not good. (...)
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  26. Still Searching for a Pragmatist Pluralism.Robert B. Talisse & Scott F. Aikin - 2005 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 41 (1):145 - 160.
  27.  7
    Pragmatism, Pluralism, and the Nature of Philosophy.Scott F. Aikin & Robert B. Talisse - 2017 - Routledge.
  28. Modest Evidentialism.Scott F. Aikin - 2006 - International Philosophical Quarterly 46 (3):327-343.
    Evidentialism is the view that subjects should believe neither more than nor contrary to what their current evidence supports. I will critically present two arguments for the view. A common source of resistance to evidentialism is that there are intuitive cases where subjects should believe contrary to their evidence. I will present modest evidentialism as the view that subjects should believe in accord with what their evidence supports, but that this norm may be overridden under certain conditions. As such, a (...)
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  29.  82
    The problem of worship.Scott F. Aikin - 2010 - Think 9 (25):101-113.
    Theism is a cluster of views. The first of which is that God exists. Others are that God has all the relevant omni-attributes, that He created the world, and that He communicates with and performs miracles on behalf of humans. There is one additional view that is often overlooked. It is that humans are obligated to worship God. Importantly, this issue of worship is of central importance to traditional theism. And it extends into pagan thought that predates Christianity. Take, for (...)
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  30.  79
    Perelmanian universal audience and the epistemic aspirations of argument.Scott F. Aikin - 2008 - Philosophy and Rhetoric 41 (3):pp. 238-259.
  31.  60
    Reply to Joshua Anderson.Scott F. Aikin & Robert B. Talisse - 2015 - The Pluralist 10 (3):335-343.
    We are pleased to find that our 2005 paper “Why Pragmatists Cannot Be Pluralists” continues to draw critical attention. It seems to us that despite the many responses to our paper, its central challenge has not been met. That challenge is for pragmatists to articulate a genuine pluralism that is consistent with their broader commitments. Unfortunately, much of the wrangling over our paper has aimed to capture the word “pluralism” for pragmatist deployment; little has been done to clarify what that (...)
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  32. Stoicism, Feminism and Autonomy.Scott Aikin & Emily McGill-Rutherford - 2014 - Symposion: Theoretical and Applied Inquiries in Philosophy and Social Sciences 1 (1):9-22.
    The ancient Stoics had an uneven track record with regard to women’s standing. On the one hand, they recognized women as fully capable of rationality and virtue. On the other hand, they continued to hold that women’s roles were in the home. These views are consistent, given Stoic value theory, but are unacceptable on liberal feminist grounds. Stoic value theory, given different emphasis on the ethical role of choice, is shown to be capable of satisfying the liberal feminist requirement that (...)
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  33.  53
    Prospects for A Levinasian Epistemic Infinitism.J. Aaron Simmons & Scott F. Aikin - 2012 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 20 (3):437-460.
    Abstract Epistemic infinitism is certainly not a majority view in contemporary epistemology. While there are some examples of infinitism in the history of philosophy, more work needs to be done mining this history in order to provide a richer understanding of how infinitism might be formulated internal to different philosophical frameworks. Accordingly, we argue that the philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas can be read as operating according to an ?impure? model of epistemic infinitism. The infinite obligation inaugurated by the ?face to (...)
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  34. Wittgenstein, Dewey, and the possibility of religion.Scott F. Aikin & Michael P. Hodges - 2006 - Journal of Speculative Philosophy 20 (1):1-19.
    John Dewey points out in A Common Faith (1934) that what stands in the way of religious belief for many is the apparent commitment of Western religious traditions to supernatural phenomena and questionable historical claims. We are to accept claims that in any other context we would find laughable. Are we to believe that water can be turned into wine without the benefit of the fermentation process? Are we to swallow the claim that there is such a phenomenon as the (...)
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  35.  39
    Why We Argue: A Sketch of an Epistemic-Democratic Program.Scott F. Aikin & Robert B. Talisse - 2014 - Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines 29 (2):60-67.
    This essay summarizes the research program developed in our new book, Why We Argue : A Guide to Political Disagreement. Humans naturally want to know and to take themselves as having reason on their side. Additionally, many people take democracy to be a uniquely proper mode of political arrangement. There is an old tension between reason and democracy, however, and it was first articulated by Plato. Plato’s concern about democracy was that it detached political decision from reason. Epistemic democrats attempt (...)
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  36.  15
    Reasonable Atheism: A Moral Case for Respectful Disbelief.Scott F. Aikin - 2011 - Prometheus Books.
    Arguing in mixed company -- What atheism is -- On the new atheism -- Ethics without God -- A moral case for atheism -- Religion in politics.
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  37. An Atheistic Argument from Ugliness.Scott F. Aikin & Nicholaos Jones - 2015 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 7 (1):209-217.
    The theistic argument from beauty has what we call an 'evil twin', the argument from ugliness. The argument yields either what we call 'atheist win', or, when faced with aesthetic theodicies, 'agnostic tie' with the argument from beauty.
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  38.  51
    Holding One’s Own.Scott F. Aikin - 2008 - Argumentation 22 (4):571-584.
    There is a tension with regard to regulative norms of inquiry. One’s commitments must survive critical scrutiny, and if they do not survive, they should be revised. Alternately, for views to be adequately articulated and defended, their proponents must maintain a strong commitment to the views in question. A solution is proposed with the notion of holding one’s own as the virtue of being reason-responsive with the prospects of improving the view in question.
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  39. Three objections to the epistemic theory of argument rebutted.Scott F. Aikin - 2008 - Argumentation and Advocacy 44:130-142.
    Three objections to the epistemic theory of argument are presented and briefly rebutted. In light of this reply, a case for argumentative eclecticism is made.
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  40.  61
    Kitcher on the Ethics of Inquiry.Robert B. Talisse & Scott F. Aikin - 2007 - Journal of Social Philosophy 38 (4):654-665.
    The thesis that scientific inquiry must operate within moral constraints is familiar and unobjectionable in cases involving immoral treatment of experimental subjects, as in the infamous Tuskegee experiments. However, in Science, Truth, and Democracy1 and related work,2 Philip Kitcher envisions a more controversial set of constraints. Specifically, he argues that inquiry ought not to be pursued in cases where the consequences of its pursuit are likely to affect negatively the lives of individuals who comprise a socially underprivileged group. This constraint (...)
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  41.  14
    Seneca on Surpassing God.Scott Aikin - 2017 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 3 (1):22-31.
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  42.  36
    Don't feed the trolls: Straw men and iron men.Scott Aikin & John Casey - unknown
    The straw man fallacy consists in inappropriately constructing or selecting weak versions of the opposition's arguments. We will survey the three forms of straw men recognized in the literature, the straw, weak, and hollow man. We will then make the case that there are examples of inappropriately reconstructing stronger versions of the opposition's arguments. Such cases we will call iron man fallacies.
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  43.  51
    Argumentative Norms in Republic I.Mark Anderson & Scott Aikin - 2006 - Philosophy in the Contemporary World 13 (2):18-23.
    We argue that there are three norms of critical discussion in stark relief in Republic I. The first we see in the exchange with Cephalus---that we interpret each other and contribute to discussions in a maximally argumentative fashion. The second we seein the exchange with Polemarchus---that in order to cooperate in dialectic, interlocutors must maintain a distance between themselves and the theses they espouse. This way they can subject the views to serious scrutiny without the risk of personal loss. Third, (...)
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  44. Nicholas of Cusa’s De pace fidei and the meta-exclusivism of religious pluralism.Scott F. Aikin & Jason Aleksander - 2013 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 74 (2):219-235.
    In response to the fall of Constantinople in 1453, Nicholas of Cusa wrote De pace fidei defending a commitment to religious tolerance on the basis of the notion that all diverse rites are but manifestations of one true religion. Drawing on a discussion of why Nicholas of Cusa is unable to square the two objectives of arguing for pluralistic tolerance and explaining the contents of the one true faith, we outline why theological pluralism is compromised by its own meta-exclusivism.
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  45.  41
    Pragmatism, Experience, and the Given.Scott Aikin - 2009 - Human Affairs 19 (1):19-27.
    Pragmatism, Experience, and the Given The doctrine of the Given is that subjects have direct non-inferential awareness of content of their experiences and apprehensions, and that some of a subject's beliefs are justified on the basis of that subject's awareness of her experiences and apprehensions. Pragmatist criticisms of the Given as a myth are shown here not only to be inadequate but to presuppose the Given. A model for a pragmatist account of the Given is then provided in terms of (...)
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  46.  55
    Contrastive Self‐Attribution of Belief.Scott F. Aikin - 2006 - Social Epistemology 20 (1):93 – 103.
    A common argument for evidentialism is that the norms of assertion, specifically those bearing on warrant and assertability, regulate belief. On this assertoric model of belief, a constitutive condition for belief is that the believing subject take her belief to be supported by sufficient evidence. An equally common source of resistance to these arguments is the plausibility of cases in which a speaker, despite the fact that she lacks warrant to assert that p, nevertheless attributes to herself the belief that (...)
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  47. Modus tonens.Scott F. Aikin & Robert B. Talisse - 2008 - Argumentation 22 (4):521-529.
    Restating an interlocutor’s position in an incredulous tone of voice can sometimes serve legitimate dialectical ends. However, there are cases in which incredulous restatement is out of bounds. This article provides an analysis of one common instance of the inappropriate use of incredulous restatement, which the authors call “modus tonens.” The authors argue that modus tonens is vicious because it pragmatically implicates the view that one’s interlocutor is one’s cognitive subordinate and provides a cue to like-minded onlookers that dialectical opponents (...)
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  48.  3
    Why We Argue (and How We Should): A Guide to Political Disagreement in an Age of Unreason.Scott F. Aikin & Robert B. Talisse - 2018 - Routledge.
    Why We Argue : A Guide to Political Disagreement in an Age of Unreason presents an accessible and engaging introduction to the theory of argument, with special emphasis on the way argument works in public political debate. The authors develop a view according to which proper argument is necessary for one's individual cognitive health; this insight is then expanded to the collective health of one's society. Proper argumentation, then, is seen to play a central role in a well-functioning democracy. Written (...)
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  49.  69
    Prospects for Moral Epistemic Infinitism.Scott F. Aikin - 2014 - Metaphilosophy 45 (2):172-181.
    This article poses two regresses for justification of moral knowledge and discusses three models for moral epistemic infinitism that arise. There are moral infinitisms dependent on empirical infinitism, what are called “piggyback” moral infinitisms. There are substantive empiricist moral infinitisms, requiring infinite chains of descriptive facts to justify normative rules. These empiricist infinitisms are developed either as infinitist egoisms or as infinitist sentimentalisms. And, finally, there are substantive rationalist moral infinitisms, requiring infinite chains of normative reasons to justify moral rules. (...)
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  50. Don't fear the regress: Cognitive values and epistemic infinitism: Aikin don't fear the regress.Scott Aikin - 2009 - Think 8 (23):55-61.
    We are rational creatures, in that we are beings on whom demands of rationality are appropriate. But by our rationality it doesn't follow that we always live up to those demands. In those cases, we fail to be rational, but it is in a way that is different from how rocks, tadpoles, and gum fail to be rational. For them, we use the term ‘arational.’ They don't have the demands, but we do. The demands of rationality bear on us because (...)
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