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The Methodological Irrelevance of Reflective Equilibrium

In Chris Daly (ed.), The Palgrave Handbook of Philosophical Methods. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 652-674 (2015)

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  1. The Self-Effacement Gambit.Jack Woods - 2019 - Res Philosophica 96 (2):113-139.
    Philosophical arguments usually are and nearly always should be abductive. Across many areas, philosophers are starting to recognize that often the best we can do in theorizing some phenomena is put forward our best overall account of it, warts and all. This is especially true in esoteric areas like logic, aesthetics, mathematics, and morality where the data to be explained is often based in our stubborn intuitions. -/- While this methodological shift is welcome, it's not without problems. Abductive arguments involve (...)
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  • Recent Work on Reflective Equilibrium and Method in Ethics.Folke Tersman - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 13 (6):e12493.
    The idea of reflective equilibrium remains the most popular approach to questions about method in ethics, despite the masses of criticism it has been faced with over the years. Is this due to the availability of compelling responses to the criticisms or rather to factors that are independent of its reasonableness? The aim of this paper is to provide support for the first answer. I particularly focus on the recent discussion. Some recent objections are related to general arguments against the (...)
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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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  • Against Reflective Equilibrium for Logical Theorizing.Jack Woods - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Logic 16 (7):319.
    I distinguish two ways of developing anti-exceptionalist approaches to logical revision. The first emphasizes comparing the theoretical virtuousness of developed bodies of logical theories, such as classical and intuitionistic logic. I'll call this whole theory comparison. The second attempts local repairs to problematic bits of our logical theories, such as dropping excluded middle to deal with intuitions about vagueness. I'll call this the piecemeal approach. I then briefly discuss a problem I've developed elsewhere for comparisons of logical theories. Essentially, the (...)
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  • Boundary Problems and Self-Ownership.Jessica Flanigan - 2019 - Social Philosophy and Policy 36 (2):9-35.
    :Self-ownership theorists argue that many of our most morally urgent and enforceable rights stem from the fact that we own ourselves. Critics of self-ownership argue that the claim that people own their bodies commits self-ownership theorists to several implausible conclusions because self-ownership theory relies on several vague moral predicates, and any precisification of the required predicates is seemingly too permissive or too restrictive. I argue that this line of criticism does not undermine the case for self-ownership theory because self-ownership theory (...)
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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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