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Reflective Equilibrium

In H. Cappelen, T. Gendler & J. Hawthorne (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Methodology. Oxford University Press. pp. 213-230 (2016)

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  1. Methodological Conservativism in Kant and Strawson.John J. Callanan - 2019 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 27 (2):422-442.
    ABSTRACTI argue that Kant’s transcendental idealism and Strawson’s descriptive metaphysics are both examples of what I call methodological conservativism. Methodological conservativism involves the claim that a subset of common first-order beliefs is immune to revision. I argue that there are striking differences between their respective commitments to this position, however. For Kant, his conservativism is based upon a commitment to the reliability of particular results of the sciences of his day. For Strawson, in contrast, his conservativism is based upon his (...)
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  • Reflective Equilibrium from a Wittgensteinian Perspective.Hiroshi Ohtani - 2021 - Philosophia 49 (4):1631-1649.
    The lingering mystery of John Rawls’s reflective equilibrium is that its nature is unclear. Rawls at times suggests he is merely describing people’s conceptions of justice, whereas at other times he implies that his reflective equilibrium is a way to justify his conception of justice. Faced with seemingly conflictual passages, most scholars privilege the justificatory ones. However, I argue that this is not an effective strategy because understanding how the descriptive and justificatory aspects of reflective equilibrium fit together is the (...)
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  • Autism Spectrum Condition, Good and Bad Motives of Offending, and Sentencing.Jukka Varelius - 2020 - Neuroethics 14 (2):143-153.
    It has been proposed that the ways in which the criminal justice system treats offenders with Autism spectrum condition should duly account for how the condition influences the offenders’ behavior. While the recommendation appears plausible, what adhering to it means in practice remains unclear. A central feature of ASC is seen to be that people with the condition have difficulties with understanding and reacting to the mental states of others in what are commonly considered as adequate ways. This article aims (...)
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  • Reflective Equilibrium and Understanding.Christoph Baumberger & Georg Brun - 2020 - Synthese 198 (8):7923-7947.
    Elgin has presented an extensive defence of reflective equilibrium embedded in an epistemology which focuses on objectual understanding rather than ordinary propositional knowledge. This paper has two goals: to suggest an account of reflective equilibrium which is sympathetic to Elgin’s but includes a range of further developments, and to analyse its role in an account of understanding. We first address the structure of reflective equilibrium as a target state and argue that reflective equilibrium requires more than an equilibrium in the (...)
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  • Down the Methodological Rabbit Hole.David Frydrych - 2017 - Crítica. Revista Hispanoamericana de Filosofía 49 (147):41-73.
    This article surveys methodological matters that shape, drive, and plague analytic legal philosophy. Section 2 briefly explicates conceptual analysis, analytic definitions, and family resemblance concepts. It also argues that central cases are used in more than one way. Section 3 presents criticisms of those concepts and methods, and suggests that some of these difficulties are due to the lack of a shared paradigm regarding a counterexample’s impact. Section 4 explains “meta- theoretical” desiderata. It contends that, to date, legal philosophical appeals (...)
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  • The social fabric of understanding: equilibrium, authority, and epistemic empathy.Christoph Jäger & Federica Isabella Malfatti - forthcoming - Synthese:1-21.
    We discuss the social-epistemic aspects of Catherine Elgin’s theory of reflective equilibrium and understanding and argue that it yields an argument for the view that a crucial social-epistemic function of epistemic authorities is to foster understanding in their communities. We explore the competences that enable epistemic authorities to fulfil this role and argue that among them is an epistemic virtue we call “epistemic empathy”.
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  • Fanciful Examples.Ian Stoner & Jason Swartwood - 2017 - Metaphilosophy 48 (3):325-344.
    This article defends the use of fanciful examples within the method of wide reflective equilibrium. First, it characterizes the general persuasive role of described cases within that method. Second, it suggests three criteria any example must meet in order to succeed in this persuasive role; fancifulness has little or nothing to do with whether an example is able to meet these criteria. Third, it discusses several general objections to fanciful examples and concludes that they are objections to the abuse of (...)
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  • The Unreliable Intuitions Objection Against Reflective Equilibrium.Norbert Paulo - 2020 - The Journal of Ethics 24 (3):333-353.
    Reflective equilibrium has been criticized for various reasons ever since the publication of Rawls’ A Theory of Justice. Recent empirical research into moral decision-making poses new challenges to RE because it questions the reliability of moral intuitions. This research might discredit moral intuitionism in general and RE in particular insofar as it ascribes epistemic value to moral intuitions. These findings suggest, for instance, that moral intuitions vary with cultural background, gender or framing. If it could be shown that all or (...)
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  • The Rawlsian Mirror of Justice.Jessica Flanigan - forthcoming - Philosophy and Public Issues - Filosofia E Questioni Pubbliche.
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  • Cementing Science. Understanding Science Through Its Development.Veli Virmajoki - 2019 - Dissertation, University of Turku
    In this book, I defend the present-centered approach in historiography of science (i.e. study of the history of science), build an account for causal explanations in historiography of science, and show the fruitfulness of the approach and account in when we attempt to understand science. -/- The present-centered approach defines historiography of science as a field that studies the developments that led to the present science. I argue that the choice of the targets of studies in historiography of science should (...)
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  • X-Phi and Impartiality Thought Experiments: Investigating the Veil of Ignorance.Norbert Paulo & Thomas Pölzler - 2020 - Diametros 17 (64):72-89.
    This paper discusses “impartiality thought experiments”, i.e., thought experiments that attempt to generate intuitions which are unaffected by personal characteristics such as age, gender or race. We focus on the most prominent impartiality thought experiment, the Veil of Ignorance, and show that both in its original Rawlsian version and in a more generic version, empirical investigations can be normatively relevant in two ways: First, on the assumption that the VOI is effective and robust, if subjects dominantly favor a certain normative (...)
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  • Wittgensteinian 'Therapy', Experimental Philosophy, and Metaphilosophical Naturalism.Eugen Fischer - 2018 - In Kevin Cahill & Thomas Raleigh (eds.), Wittgenstein and Naturalism. New York, USA: Routledge. pp. 260-286.
    An important strand of current experimental philosophy promotes a new kind of methodological naturalism. This chapter argues that this new ‘metaphilosophical naturalism’ is fundamentally consistent with key tenets of Wittgenstein’s metaphilosophy, and can provide empirical foundations for therapeutic conceptions of philosophy. Metaphilosophical naturalism invites us to contribute to the resolution of philosophical problems about X by turning to scientific findings about the way we think about X – in general or when doing philosophy. This new naturalism encourages us to use (...)
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  • Bayesian Variations: Essays on the Structure, Object, and Dynamics of Credence.Aron Vallinder - 2018 - Dissertation, London School of Economics
    According to the traditional Bayesian view of credence, its structure is that of precise probability, its objects are descriptive propositions about the empirical world, and its dynamics are given by conditionalization. Each of the three essays that make up this thesis deals with a different variation on this traditional picture. The first variation replaces precise probability with sets of probabilities. The resulting imprecise Bayesianism is sometimes motivated on the grounds that our beliefs should not be more precise than the evidence (...)
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