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Scott F. Aikin [89]Scott Forrest Aikin [2]
  1. Epistemology and the Regress Problem.Scott F. Aikin - 2010 - New York: 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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  2. Deep Disagreement, the Dark Enlightenment, and the Rhetoric of the Red Pill.Scott F. Aikin - 2018 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 36 (3):420-435.
    Deep disagreements are disagreements wherein the dialectical conditions for fruitful argumentative exchange do not obtain. One view from within these disagreements is that the other side has been duped or is so deeply ignorant of and complacent with some illusion, there is no hope for exchange. The Dark Enlightenment's critique of liberal democracy and progressive politics (which gave rise to the alt‐right movement) proceeds on this premise, calling their critical philosophy ‘the red pill’ and terming the opposition's program ‘the Cathedral’. (...)
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  3. 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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  4.  39
    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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  5.  57
    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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  6.  65
    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 (most prominently, Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca, and Doury), 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 (...)
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  7. Deep Disagreement and the Problem of the Criterion.Scott F. Aikin - 2018 - 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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  8.  21
    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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  9.  41
    Free Speech Fallacies as Meta-Argumentative Errors.Scott F. Aikin & John Casey - 2023 - Argumentation 37 (2):295-305.
    Free speech fallacies are errors of meta-argument. One commits a free speech fallacy when one argues that since there are apparent restrictions on one’s rights of free expression, procedural rules of critical exchange have been broken, and consequently, one’s preferred view is dialectically better off than it may otherwise seem. Free speech fallacies are meta-argumentative, since they occur at the level of assessing the dialectical situation in terms of norms of argument and in terms of meta-evidential principles of interpreting how (...)
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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. Pragmatism a guide for the perplexed.Robert B. Talisse & Scott F. Aikin - 2008 - London, UK: Continuum. Edited by Scott F. Aikin.
    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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  12. 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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  13.  18
    The Ambitious and the Modest Meta-Argumentation Theses.Scott F. Aikin & John Casey - 2024 - Res Philosophica 101 (1):163-170.
    Arguments are weakly meta-argumentative when they call attention to themselves and purport to be successful as arguments. Arguments are strongly metaargumentative when they take arguments (themselves or other arguments) as objects for evaluation, clarification, or improvement and explicitly use concepts of argument analysis for the task. The ambitious meta-argumentation thesis is that all argumentation is weakly argumentative. The modest meta-argumentation thesis is that there are unique instances of strongly meta-argumentative argument. Here, we show how the two theses are connected and (...)
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  14.  62
    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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  15. 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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  16.  19
    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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  17. 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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  18. 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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  19.  61
    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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  20. 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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  21. 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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  22. 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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  23.  36
    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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  24. Still Searching for a Pragmatist Pluralism.Robert B. Talisse & Scott F. Aikin - 2005 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 41 (1):145 - 160.
  25.  17
    Pragmatism, Pluralism, and the Nature of Philosophy.Scott F. Aikin & Robert B. Talisse - 2017 - New York: Routledge. Edited by Robert B. Talisse.
  26. 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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  27.  25
    Modeling critical questions as additional premises.Douglas Walton, Thomas F. Gordon & Scott F. Aikin - unknown
    This paper shows how the critical questions matching an argumentation scheme can be mod-eled in the Carneades argumentation system as three kinds of premises. Ordinary premises hold only if they are supported by sufficient arguments. Assumptions hold, by default, until they have been questioned. With exceptions the negation holds, by default, until the exception has been supported by sufficient arguments. By “sufficient arguments”, we mean arguments sufficient to satisfy the applicable proof standard.
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  28.  58
    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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  29. Perelmanian universal audience and the epistemic aspirations of argument.Scott F. Aikin - 2008 - Philosophy and Rhetoric 41 (3):pp. 238-259.
    In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:Perelmanian Universal Audience and the Epistemic Aspirations of ArgumentScott F. AikinIThe notion of universality in argumentation is as fecund as is it is controversial. Chaïm Perelman and Lucie Olbrechts-Tyteca’s notion of universal audience (UA), given their requirement that all arguments be evaluated in terms of their audiences, clearly promises a rich account of argumentative norms. It equally yields a variety of questions. For the most part, the questions come (...)
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  30.  99
    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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  31.  71
    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.  77
    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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  33.  54
    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 (And How We Should): A Guide to Political Disagreement (Routledge, 2014). 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 (...)
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  34.  78
    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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  35.  37
    Reasonable atheism: a moral case for respectful disbelief.Scott F. Aikin - 2011 - Amherst, N.Y.: Prometheus Books. Edited by Robert B. Talisse.
    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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  36. 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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  37.  67
    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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  38. 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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  39. 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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  40. 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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  41. 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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  42.  44
    ’KNOWLEDGE IS TRUE BELIEF’ REBUTTED.Scott F. Aikin - 2010 - European Journal of Analytic Philosohy 6 (2):5 - 13.
  43. The Problem of the Criterion and Hegel's Model for Epistemic Infinitism.Scott F. Aikin - 2010 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 27 (4).
  44.  88
    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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  45.  33
    Responsible Sports Spectatorship and the Problem of Fantasy Leagues.Scott F. Aikin - 2013 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 27 (2):195-206.
    Given a variety of cases of failed spectatorship, a set of criteria for properly attending to a sporting event are defined. In light of these criteria, it is shown that Fantasy League participation occasions a peculiar kind of failure of sports spectatorship.
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  46.  26
    On Epistemic Abstemiousness: A Reply to Bundy.Scott F. Aikin, Michael Harbour, Jonathan Neufeld & Robert B. Talisse - 2011 - Logos and Episteme 2 (3):425-428.
  47. Poe's law, group polarization, and the epistemology of online religious discourse.Scott F. Aikin - 2012 - Social Semiotics 22 (4).
    Poe's Law is roughly that online parodies of religious extremism are indistinguishable from instances of sincere extremism. Poe's Law may be expressed in a variety of ways, each highlighting either a facet of indirect discourse generally, attitudes of online audiences, or the quality of online religious material. As a consequence of the polarization of online discussions, invocations of Poe's Law have relevance in wider circles than religion. Further, regular invocations of Poe's Law in critical discussions have the threat of further (...)
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  48. Epistemic Abstainers, Epistemic Martyrs, and Epistemic Converts.Scott F. Aikin, Michael Harbour & Robert B. Talisse - 2010 - Logos and Episteme 1 (2):211-219.
    An intuitive view regarding the epistemic significance of disagreement says that when epistemic peers disagree, they should suspend judgment. This abstemious view seems to embody a kind of detachment appropriate for rational beings; moreover, it seems to promote a kind of conciliatory inclination that makes for irenic and cooperative further discussion. Like many strategies for cooperation, however, the abstemious view creates opportunities for free-riding. In this essay, the authors argue that the believer who suspends judgment in the face of peer (...)
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  49. Argumentative Ethics.Scott F. Aikin & Lucy Vollbrecht - 2022 - In Hugh LaFollette (ed.), International Encyclopedia of Ethics. Wiley.
    Entry in International Encyclopedia of Ethics on Ethical considerations bearing on Argumentation.
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  50. Evidentialism and James' Argument from Friendship.Scott F. Aikin - 2008 - Southwest Philosophy Review 24 (1):173-180.
    William James' main argument in “The Will to Believe” against evidentialism is that there are facts that cannot come to be without a preliminary faith in their coming. James primarily makes this case with the argument from friendship. I will critically present James' argument from friendship and show that the argument does not yield a counter-example to evidentialism and is in the end unsound.
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