Ethics and Epistemic Hopelessness

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This paper investigates the ethics of regarding others as epistemically hopeless. To regard a person as epistemically hopeless with respect to p is, roughly, to regard her as unable to see the truth of p through rational means. Regarding a person as epistemically hopeless is a stance that has surprising and nuanced moral implications. It can be a sign of respect, and it can also be a way of giving up on someone. Whether it is morally problematic to take up this stance, I argue, depends on the choices that one faces (or is likely to face). I close the paper by arguing against the view that there are standing moral reasons against regarding others as epistemically hopeless.
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Archival date: 2020-02-18
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