Department of Philosophy Colloquium: Chris Ranalli (VU Amsterdam)

 Philosophy     Jan 28 2022 | 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM Zoom

Add to Calendar 01/28/2022 12:00 PM 01/28/2022 2:00 PM America/Los_Angeles Department of Philosophy Colloquium: Chris Ranalli (VU Amsterdam) Please click the URL for event detail information. Zoom

Personalism about the Ethics of Belief (RSVP HERE)

Professor Ranalli is part of the ERC Extreme Beliefs research group. He is currently working on topics like conspiracy theories, indoctrination, and echo chambers.

He is also a research affiliate within the DFG Thinking about Suspension network. He is exploring the relationship between suspension of judgment and our personal and ethical commitments.

His research is primarily in epistemology. He also has interests in ethics and philosophy of mind.

Personalism about the Ethics of Belief

What should the impact of theoretical reasons, such as those from philosophy or social psychology, be for our personal beliefs? It is a widely assumed that such reasons can be evidence which bears on what we rationally ought to believe. I argue, however, that we can sometimes permissibly ignore theoretical reasons. In particular, that the maintenance of many kinds of personal belief permits us to bracket theoretical reasons, or even outright ignore them. Call this Personalism. This paper sets out to explain and defend Personalism. Personalism is many things. It’s a kind of dogmatism, because it entails that the evidence one has can sometimes be properly ignored. Nevertheless, I argue that this type of dogmatism is not objectionable but praiseworthy. This contrasts with two broader types of objectionable dogmatism, evidential dogmatism, whereby it is permissible for one to ignore any type of counter-evidence, and myside dogmatism, whereby it permissible for one to ignore evidence which challenges one’s theoretical convictions. It is also a kind of pragmatism, because it entails that there can be non-epistemic reasons for keeping our beliefs. I explain why Personalism is a plausible via media between traditional Pragmatism and Evidentialism.