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Volume 49 • Number 2

April 2012



Reflection, Disagreement, and Context

by Edward S. Hinchman

How far, if at all, do our intrapersonal and our interpersonal epistemic obligations run in parallel? How are we epistemically obligated to weigh diverging opinions—a change of mind—that we expect we will have in the future? Do those obligations resemble whatever obligations we may have to be responsive to the opinions of peers who disagree with us?

This essay recommends that we treat these questions as addressing the stability of doxastic commitment in the two dimensions. If we think of belief as paradigmatically the product of doxastic deliberation, as some philosophers now do, then we can view forming a belief as bringing doxastic deliberation to a proper conclusion, thereby generating a properly stable commitment. And we can make our questions more specific: Does a doxastic stance that fails to do justice to expected future opinion manifest a properly stable orientation as it moves forward into that future? Does a doxastic stance that fails to do justice to interpersonal disagreement manifest a properly stable orientation as it moves outward into the social give-and-take of reasons? How far, if at all, do these species of doxastic stability run in parallel?

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American Philosophical Quarterly is published by the University of Illinois Press on behalf of North American Philosophical Publications.

ISSN: 2152-1123