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See detailConciliatory views, higher-order disagreements, and defeasible logic
Knoks, Aleks UL

in Synthese (2022), 200(2), 1-23

Conciliatory views of disagreement say, roughly, that it’s rational for you to become less confident in your take on an issue in case you find out that an epistemic peer’s take on it is the opposite ... [more ▼]

Conciliatory views of disagreement say, roughly, that it’s rational for you to become less confident in your take on an issue in case you find out that an epistemic peer’s take on it is the opposite. Their intuitive appeal notwithstanding, there are well-known worries about the behavior of conciliatory views in scenarios involving higher-order disagreements, which include disagreements over these views themselves and disagreements over the peer status of alleged epistemic peers. This paper does two things. First, it explains how the core idea behind conciliatory views can be expressed in a defeasible logic framework. The result is a formal model that’s particularly useful for thinking about the behavior of conciliatory views in cases involving higher-order disagreements. And second, the paper uses this model to resolve three paradoxes associated with disagreements over epistemic peerhood. [less ▲]

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See detailMisleading Higher-Order Evidence, Conflicting Ideals, and Defeasible Logic
Knoks, Aleks UL

in Ergo, An Open Access Journal of Philosophy (2021), 8(6), 141-174

Thinking about misleading higher-order evidence naturally leads to a puzzle about epistemic rationality: If one's total evidence can be radically misleading regarding itself, then two widely-accepted ... [more ▼]

Thinking about misleading higher-order evidence naturally leads to a puzzle about epistemic rationality: If one's total evidence can be radically misleading regarding itself, then two widely-accepted requirements of rationality come into conflict, suggesting that there are rational dilemmas. This paper focuses on an often misunderstood and underexplored response to this (and similar) puzzles, the so-called conflicting-ideals view. Drawing on work from defeasible logic, I propose understanding this view as a move away from the default meta-epistemological position according to which rationality requirements are strict and governed by a strong, but never explicitly stated logic, toward the more unconventional view, according to which requirements are defeasible and governed by a comparatively weak logic. When understood this way, the response is not committed to dilemmas. [less ▲]

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See detailConciliatory reasoning, self-defeat, and abstract argumentation
Knoks, Aleks UL

in Review of Symbolic Logic (2021), First View

According to conciliatory views on the significance of disagreement, it’s rational for you to become less confident in your take on an issue in case your epistemic peer’s take on it is different. These ... [more ▼]

According to conciliatory views on the significance of disagreement, it’s rational for you to become less confident in your take on an issue in case your epistemic peer’s take on it is different. These views are intuitively appealing, but they also face a powerful objection: in scenarios that involve disagreements over their own correctness, conciliatory views appear to self-defeat and, thereby, issue inconsistent recommendations. This paper provides a response to this objection. Drawing on the work from defeasible logics paradigm and abstract argumentation, it develops a formal model of conciliatory reasoning and explores its behavior in the troubling scenarios. The model suggests that the recommendations that conciliatory views issue in such scenarios are perfectly reasonable---even if outwardly they may look odd. [less ▲]

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See detailMoral Principles: Hedged, Contributory, Mixed
Knoks, Aleks UL

in Knoks, Aleks (Ed.) Deontic Logic and Normative Systems, 15th International Conference, DEON 2020/2021 (2021, July)

It's natural to think that the principles expressed by the statements "Promises ought to be kept" and "We ought to help those in need" are defeasible. But how are we to make sense of this defeasibility ... [more ▼]

It's natural to think that the principles expressed by the statements "Promises ought to be kept" and "We ought to help those in need" are defeasible. But how are we to make sense of this defeasibility? On one proposal, moral principles have hedges or built-in unless clauses specifying the conditions under which the principle doesn't apply. On another, such principles are contributory and, thus, do not specify which actions ought to be carried out, but only what counts in favor or against them. Drawing on a defeasible logic framework, this paper sets up three models: one model for each proposal, as well as a third model capturing a mixed view on principles that combines them. It then explores the structural connections between the three models and establishes some equivalence results, suggesting that the seemingly different views captured by the models are closer than standardly thought. [less ▲]

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