Can We Rationally Believe Conciliationism? Public Deposited

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  • March 20, 2019
  • Sampson, Eric
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Philosophy
  • Conciliationists hold that, when an agent learns that an epistemic peer disagrees with her about p, she is rationally required to suspend judgment about p. Conciliationism has a well-known self-undermining problem (SUP): Conciliationism is itself controversial among philosophers. It thus seems to entail that it is irrational for conciliationists to believe their own view. Conciliationists have argued, in various ways, that this is not so. I argue that their defenses fail for the same reason: they depend for their success on philosophical claims that are also the subject of disagreement among conciliationists’ epistemic peers. It is therefore irrational, by conciliationists’ lights, to believe the claims conciliationists employ in their defenses. It is thus irrational, by conciliationists’ standards, to believe that their defenses succeed. So we cannot rationally believe Conciliationism. I argue, moreover, that there is excellent reason to think that this problem will afflict any future defenses of Conciliationism, too.
Date of publication
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Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Neta, Ram
  • Shafer-Landau, Russ
  • Sayre-McCord, Geoffrey
  • Master of Arts
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2017

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