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The Limitations of the Open Mind$
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Jeremy Fantl

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198807957

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198807957.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 16 January 2022

A Defense of (a Different Kind of) Dogmatism

A Defense of (a Different Kind of) Dogmatism

(p.27) 2 A Defense of (a Different Kind of) Dogmatism
The Limitations of the Open Mind

Jeremy Fantl

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues for a kind of dogmatism (though not the sort famously defended by Jim Pryor): that you can retain knowledge even if you spend significant time with an argument, find each step compelling, and are unable to expose a flaw. It is uncontroversial that knowledge can survive some such counterarguments: trick arguments that 1=0, paradoxical arguments that nothing moves, perceptual arguments that a rabbit has spontaneously appeared in a previously empty hat. But, debates in the literature on disagreement aside, knowledge can survive such counterarguments even when they concern controversial matters of ethics, politics, religion, science, and philosophy. You often have what would otherwise count as knowledge-level positive support for your controversial beliefs. This support is often not defeated by what turns out to be the rather weak evidence provided by the fact that a counterargument is apparently flawless.

Keywords:   dogmatism, knowledge, disagreement, controversiality, argument

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