Reference : Philosophical dialogue with the public: Two challenges and two replies
Scientific congresses, symposiums and conference proceedings : Unpublished conference
Arts & humanities : Philosophy & ethics
Philosophical dialogue with the public: Two challenges and two replies
Burks, Deven mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Identités, Politiques, Sociétés, Espaces (IPSE) >]
Dublin Graduate Philosophy Conference 2018
from 04/05/2018 to 05/05/2018
Trinity College - University College Dublin
[en] dialogue ; public ; philosophy
[en] Leiter (2016) throws down two gauntlets to philosophers engaged in dialogue with the broader public. If, with the first, public philosophers recognize that they cannot offer substantive answers but only sophisticated method, they nevertheless fail to realize that said method does not resonate with the very public whom they purport to help. For, with the second, that method does not engage the emotivist and tribalist cast of contemporary public discourse: emotivist because a person’s moral and political beliefs are a function of emotional attitudes or affective responses for which she adduces reasons post hoc; tribalist because the person tracks not the inferential relation between beliefs but her similarity with interlocutors. While this should not dissuade public philosophers, it should, per Leiter, make them reconsider the role of rhetoric within philosophy. What would extramural philosophical dialogue then look like? For one possible answer, we highlight two tactics employed in Jeffrey Stout's work. First, public philosophers might gauge how far persons are tracking reasons and apply rhetorical pressure to their self-image as reasonable. Second, public philosophers might embrace this affective turn through appealing to persons’ emotional attitudes and affective responses with “moral perceptions” which, though non-inferential, are inferentially connected to the underlying attitudes and responses. Such tactics may form part of a toolkit for philosophical dialogue whereby philosophers get a discursive grip on non-discursive factors underlying public discourse and push back on Leiter's dilemma.

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