Disjunctivism and the Ethics of Disbelief

Philosophical Papers 44 (2):139-163 (2015)
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This paper argues that there is a conflict between two theses held by John McDowell, namely i) the claim that we are under a standing obligation to revise our beliefs if reflection demands it; and ii) the view that veridical experience is a mode of direct access to the world. Since puts no bounds on what would constitute reasonable doubt, it invites skeptical concerns which overthrow. Conversely, since says that there are some experiences which we are entitled to trust, it undermines the prescriptive scope of. Drawing on C. S. Peirce's distinction between genuine and contrived doubt, I maintain that critical revisions of beliefs should be triggered only by unwanted disruptions of habits, thereby restoring unity between McDowell's two theses

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Marc Champagne
Kwantlen Polytechnic University


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