Disagreement unhinged, constitutivism style

Metaphilosophy 52 (3-4):402-415 (2021)
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Hinge epistemology has to dispel the worry that disagreeing over hinges is rationally inert. Building on a companion piece (Coliva and Palmira 2020), this paper offers a constitutivist solution to the problem of rational inertia by maintaining that a Humean sceptic and a hinge epistemologist disagree over the correct explication of the concept of epistemic rationality. The paper explores the implications of such a solution. First, it clarifies in what sense a disagreement over hinges would be a conceptual disagreement. Secondly, it uses considerations about the (alleged) rational inertia of hinge disagreement to offer a test whereby to demarcate genuine hinges from merely entrenched beliefs. Thirdly, it offers a response to the challenge of explaining why we have reason to engage in the epistemic practices that hinges are constitutive of in the first place. Fourthly, it argues that the constitutivist approach to hinge disagreement does not result in a relativist view.

Author Profiles

Annalisa Coliva
University of California, Irvine
Michele Palmira
Complutense University of Madrid


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