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Volume 5, Issue 2, 2018
Skeptical Problems in Political Epistemology

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Displaying: 1-12 of 12 documents

1. Symposion: Volume > 5 > Issue: 2
Scott Aikin, Tempest Henning Introduction: Skeptical Problems in Political Epistemology
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2. Symposion: Volume > 5 > Issue: 2
Emily McGill Is Liberalism Disingenuous?: Truth and Lies in Political Liberalism
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Rawlsian political liberalism famously requires a prohibition on truth. This has led to the charge that liberalism embraces non-cognitivism, according to which political claims have the moral status of emotions or expressions of preference. This result would render liberalism a non-starter for liberatory politics, a conclusion that political liberals themselves disavow. This conflict between what liberalism claims and what liberalism does has led critics to charge that the theory is disingenuous and functions as political ideology. In this paper, I explore one way that this charge unfolds: critics charge that liberalism utilizes an individualistic and identity-insensitive social ontology, which in turn yields epistemic deficiencies that render it incapable of detecting oppression. The theory’s claim to freestandingness then shields it from necessary critique. I argue that this objection relies on constructing a conflict between liberalism’s professed non-cognitivism and its actual cognitivist commitments. By demonstrating that Rawlsian political liberalism explicitly endorses substantive moral truths, and that the method of avoidance applies only to public justification for coercive state action, I show that the theory is openly and foundationally cognitivist, and thus that the charge of disingenuousness does not stick.
3. Symposion: Volume > 5 > Issue: 2
Eric T. Morton Pragmatism, Pluralism, and the Burdens of Judgment
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Robert Talisse and Scott Aikin have argued that substantive versions of value pluralism are incompatible with pragmatism, and that all such versions of pluralism must necessarily collapse into versions of strong metaphysical pluralism. They also argue that any strong version of value pluralism is incompatible with pragmatism’s meliorist commitment and will block the road of inquiry. I defend the compatibility of a version of value pluralism (the strong epistemic pluralism of John Rawls) with pragmatism, and offer counterarguments to all of these claims.
4. Symposion: Volume > 5 > Issue: 2
Shannon Fyfe Testimonial Injustice in International Criminal Law
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In this article, I consider the possibilities and limitations for testimonial justice in an international criminal courtroom. I begin by exploring the relationship between epistemology and criminal law, and consider how testimony contributes to the goals of truth and justice. I then assess the susceptibility of international criminal courts to the two harms of testimonial injustice: epistemic harm to the speaker, and harm to the truth-seeking process. I conclude that international criminal courtrooms are particularly susceptible to perpetrating testimonial injustice. Hearers in the international criminal courtroom should practice testimonial justice, but the institution is not structured in a way that can prevent every instance of testimonial injustice.
5. Symposion: Volume > 5 > Issue: 2
Scott F. Aikin Dialecticality and Deep Disagreement
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In this paper, I will argue for a complex of three theses. First, that the problem of deep disagreement is an instance of the regress problem of justification. Second, that the problem of deep disagreement, as a regress problem, depends on a dialecticality requirement for arguments. Third, that the dialecticality requirement is plausible and defensible.
6. Symposion: Volume > 5 > Issue: 2
Connie Wang Beyond Argument: A Hegelian Approach to Deep Disagreements
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Accounts of deep disagreements can generally be categorized as optimistic or pessimistic. Pessimistic interpretations insist that the depth of deep disagreements precludes the possibility of rational resolution altogether, while optimistic variations maintain the contrary. Despite both approaches’ respective positions, they nevertheless often, either explicitly or implicitly, agree on the underlying assumption that argumentation offers the only possible rational resolution to deep disagreements. This paper challenges that idea by, first, diagnosing this argument-only model of arriving at rational resolutions, second, articulating a competing but undertheorized Hegelian-informed approach, and third, attending briefly to some of the challenges of such an approach.
7. Symposion: Volume > 5 > Issue: 2
Tempest Henning Bringing Wreck
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This paper critically examines non-adversarial feminist argumentation model specifically within the scope of politeness norms and cultural communicative practices. Asserting women typically have a particular mode of arguing which is often seen as ‘weak’ or docile within male dominated fields, the model argues that the feminine mode of arguing is actually more affiliative and community orientated, which should become the standard within argumentation as opposed to the Adversary Method. I argue that the nonadversarial feminist argumentation model (NAFAM) primarily focuses on one demographic of women’s communicative styles – white women. Taking an intersectional approach, I examine practices within African American women’s speech communities to illustrate the ways in which the virtues and vices purported by the NAFAM fails to capture other ways of productive argumentation.
8. Symposion: Volume > 5 > Issue: 2
Alessandra Tanesini Arrogance, Anger and Debate
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Arrogance has widespread negative consequences for epistemic practices. Arrogant people tend to intimidate and humiliate other agents, and to ignore or dismiss their views. They have a propensity to mansplain. They are also angry. In this paper I explain why anger is a common manifestation of arrogance in order to understand the effects of arrogance on debate. I argue that superbia (which is the kind of arrogance that is my concern here) is a vice of superiority characterised by an overwhelming desire to diminish other people in order to excel and by a tendency to arrogate special entitlements for oneself, including the privilege of not having to justify one’s claims.
9. Symposion: Volume > 5 > Issue: 2
Moira Howes, Catherine Hundleby The Epistemology of Anger in Argumentation
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While anger can derail argumentation, it can also help arguers and audiences to reason together in argumentation. Anger can provide information about premises, biases, goals, discussants, and depth of disagreement that people might otherwise fail to recognize or prematurely dismiss. Anger can also enhance the salience of certain premises and underscore the importance of related inferences. For these reasons, we claim that anger can serve as an epistemic resource in argumentation.
10. Symposion: Volume > 5 > Issue: 2
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11. Symposion: Volume > 5 > Issue: 2
About the Journal
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12. Symposion: Volume > 5 > Issue: 2
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