Permissivism and the Truth Connection

Erkenntnis 88 (2):641-656 (2023)
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Permissivism is the view that, sometimes, there is more than one doxastic attitude that is perfectly rationalised by the evidence. Impermissivism is the denial of Permissivism. Several philosophers, with the aim to defend either Impermissivism or Permissivism, have recently discussed the value of (im)permissive rationality. This paper focuses on one kind of value-conferring considerations, stemming from the so-called “truth-connection” enjoyed by rational doxastic attitudes. The paper vindicates the truth-connected value of permissive rationality by pursuing a novel strategy which rests on two main planks: first, there is a distinction between a fine-grained and a coarse-grained type-individuation of belief-forming methods. Secondly, different kinds of decision-theoretic reasoning, i.e. expected-accuracy reasoning and accuracy-domination reasoning, must be paired with a fine-grained and a coarse-grained type-individuation of methods, respectively. I argue that while the first pair is wholly irrelevant to the question of the truth-connection, the second affords the means to a permissivist explanation of the truth-connected value of rationality.

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Michele Palmira
Complutense University of Madrid


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