On behalf of controversial view agnosticism

Carter, J. A. (2018) On behalf of controversial view agnosticism. European Journal of Philosophy, 26(4), pp. 1358-1370. (doi: 10.1111/ejop.12333)

154967.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.



Controversial view agnosticism (CVA) is the thesis that we are rationally obligated to withhold judgment about a large portion of our beliefs in controversial subject areas, such as philosophy, religion, morality and politics. Given that one’s social identity is in no small part a function of one’s positive commitments in controversial areas, CVA has unsurprisingly been regarded as objectionably ‘spineless.’ That said, CVA seems like an unavoidable consequence of a prominent view in the epistemology of disagreement—conformism—according to which the rational response to discovering that someone you identify as an epistemic peer or expert about p disagrees with you vis-à-vis p is to withhold judgment. This paper proposes a novel way to maintain the core conciliatory insight without devolving into an agnosticism that is objectionably spineless. The approach offered takes as a starting point the observation that–for reasons that will be made clear—the contemporary debate has bypassed the issue of the reasonableness of maintaining, rather than giving up, representational states weaker than belief in controversial areas. The new position developed and defended here explores this overlooked space; what results is a kind of controversial view

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Carter, Dr J Adam
Authors: Carter, J. A.
Subjects:B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > Philosophy
Journal Name:European Journal of Philosophy
ISSN (Online):1468-0378
Published Online:14 February 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 The Author
First Published:European Journal of Philosophy 26(4): 1358-1370
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record