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Webs Of Faith As A Source Of Reasonable Disagreement, Gregory Brazeal Jan 2012

Webs Of Faith As A Source Of Reasonable Disagreement, Gregory Brazeal

Gregory Brazeal

Contemporary political theorists and philosophers of epistemology and religion have often drawn attention to the problem of reasonable disagreement. The idea that deliberators may reasonably persist in a disagreement even under ideal deliberative conditions and even over the long term poses a challenge to the common assumption that rationality should lead to consensus. This essay proposes a previously unrecognized source of reasonable disagreement, based on the notion that an individual's beliefs are rationally related to one another in a fabric of sentences or web of beliefs. The essay argues that an individual's beliefs may not form a single ...


The Truths Of Chenglish: Logical Imperfection, Natural Language, And Philosophical Disagreement, Gregory Brazeal Jan 2012

The Truths Of Chenglish: Logical Imperfection, Natural Language, And Philosophical Disagreement, Gregory Brazeal

Gregory Brazeal

Why is it that philosophy seems unable to obtain the kinds of agreement regularly achieved by mathematics and the natural sciences? The experimental philosophy movement emphasizes conflicting intuitions as a potential source of philosophical disagreement. This essay draws attention to another, complementary source: the logical imperfection of natural languages. Unlike logic as it is formalized in symbolic notation, the rules governing the correct use of terms in a natural language can be indeterminate, underdetermined, and inconsistent. Though most philosophers recognize the logical imperfection of natural languages in the abstract, everyday philosophical discussion is often conducted as though the argumentative moves ...