Plausible Permissivism

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Abstract. Richard Feldman’s Uniqueness Thesis holds that “a body of evidence justifies at most one proposition out of a competing set of proposi- tions”. The opposing position, permissivism, allows distinct rational agents to adopt differing attitudes towards a proposition given the same body of evidence. We assess various motivations that have been offered for Uniqueness, including: concerns about achieving consensus, a strong form of evidentialism, worries about epistemically arbitrary influences on belief, a focus on truth-conduciveness, and consequences for peer disagreement. We argue that each of these motivations either misunderstands the commitments of permissivism or is question-begging. Better understanding permissivism makes it a much more plausible position.
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First archival date: 2015-11-21
Latest version: 2 (2015-11-29)
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