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Reading: The Epistemological Significance and Implications of Belief Polarization

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The Epistemological Significance and Implications of Belief Polarization

Author:

Lee Pennebaker

University of Puget Sound, US
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Abstract

A principal assumption in the epistemology of disagreement is that we, as rational subjects, assess evidence neutrally in order to justify our beliefs. However, the existence of the phenomenon of Belief Polarization threatens the validity of this basis. Since its introduction into philosophical discussion in Thomas Kelly’s paper titled, Disagreement, Dogmatism, and Belief Polarization, the phenomenon of Belief Polarization has been thoughtlessly overlooked. Given serious consideration, there seem to be widespread epistemological implications due to the existence of Belief Polarization. Specifically, Belief Polarization brings to light significant claims about the nature of justification and belief forming processes, specifically concerning evidence gathering. As this paper will argue, given awareness of Belief Polarization, rational subjects should be less confident in their justification of belief forming processes. In other words, rational subjects should not be fully confident in the objectively based truth-value of their beliefs.

How to Cite: Pennebaker, L., 2015. The Epistemological Significance and Implications of Belief Polarization. International Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities, 7(2), pp.13 (93–101). DOI: http://doi.org/10.7710/2155-4838.1130
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Published on 29 May 2015.
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