How Low Can You Go? A Defense of Believing Philosophical Theories

In Sanford C. Goldberg & Mark Walker (eds.), Attitude in Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press (forthcoming)
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What attitude should philosophers take toward their favorite philosophical theories? I argue that the answer is belief and middling to low credence. I begin by discussing why disagreement has motivated the view that we cannot rationally believe our philosophical theories. Then, I show why considerations from disagreement actually better support my view. I provide two additional arguments for my view: the first concerns roles for belief and credence and the second explains why believing one’s philosophical theories is superior to accepting them. I close by addressing objections, including implications my view has for the Lockean thesis, the view that there is a normative connection between belief and high credence.

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Elizabeth Jackson
Toronto Metropolitan University


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