Political Hinge Epistemology

In Constantine Sandis & Danièle Moyal-Sharrock (eds.), Extending Hinge Epistemology. Anthem Press. pp. 127-148 (2022)
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Political epistemology is the intersection of political philosophy and epistemology. This paper develops a political 'hinge' epistemology. Political hinge epistemology draws on the idea that all belief systems have fundamental presuppositions which play a role in the determination of reasons for belief and other attitudes. It uses this core idea to understand and tackle political epistemological challenges, like political disagreement, polarization, political testimony, political belief, ideology, and biases, among other possibilities. I respond to two challenges facing the development of a political hinge epistemology. The first is about nature and demarcation of political hinges, while the second is about rational deliberation over political hinges. I then use political hinge epistemology to analyze ideology, dealing with the challenge of how an agent's ideology 'masks' or distorts their understanding of social reality, along with the challenge of how ideology critique can change the beliefs of agents who adhere to dominant ideologies, if agents only have their own or the competing ideology to rely on (see Haslanger 2017). I then explore how political hinge epistemology might be extended to further our understanding of political belief polarization.

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Christopher Ranalli
VU University Amsterdam


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