Permissivism and the Value of Rationality: A Challenge to the Uniqueness Thesis

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 99 (2):286-297 (2018)
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In recent years, permissivism—the claim that a body of evidence can rationalize more than one response—has enjoyed somewhat of a revival. But it is once again being threatened, this time by a host of new and interesting arguments that, at their core, are challenging the permissivist to explain why rationality matters. A version of the challenge that I am especially interested in is this: if permissivism is true, why should we expect the rational credences to be more accurate than the irrational ones? My aim is to turn this challenge on its head and argue that, actually, those who deny permissivism will have a harder time responding to such a challenge than those who accept it.

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Miriam Schoenfield
University of Texas at Austin


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