Do great minds really think alike?

Willard-Kyle, C. (2017) Do great minds really think alike? Synthese, 194(3), pp. 989-1026. (doi: 10.1007/s11229-015-0984-x)

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Abstract

Recently, a number of epistemologists (notably Feldman in Philosophers without gods: meditations on atheism and the secular life. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2007, in Episteme 6(3):294–312, 2009; White in Philos Perspect 19:445–449, 2005, White in Contemporary debates in epistemology. Blackwell, Oxford, 2013) have argued for the rational uniqueness thesis, the principle that any set of evidence permits only one rationally acceptable attitude toward a given proposition. In contrast, this paper argues for extreme rational permissivism, the view that two agents with the same evidence (evidential peers) may sometimes arrive at contradictory beliefs rationally. This paper (1) identifies different versions of uniqueness and permissivism that vary in strength and range, (2) argues that evidential peers with different interests need not rationally endorse all the same hypotheses, (3) argues that evidential peers who weigh the theoretic virtues differently (that is, who have different standards) can sometimes rationally endorse contradictory conclusions, and finally (4) defends the permissivist appeal to standards against objections in the works of Feldman and White.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Willard-Kyle, Dr Christopher
Authors: Willard-Kyle, C.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > Philosophy
Journal Name:Synthese
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0039-7857
ISSN (Online):1573-0964
Published Online:04 January 2016

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