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Should we be dogmatically conciliatory?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Published15 Feb 2019


King's Authors


A common complaint about conciliatory approaches to disagreement is that they are self-defeating or incoherent because they ‘call for their own rejection’. This complaint seems to be rather influential but it isn’t clear whether conciliatory views call for their own rejection or what, if anything, this tells us about the coherence of such views. We shall look at two ways of developing this self-defeat objection and we shall see that conciliatory views emerge unscathed. A simple version of the self-defeat objection leaves conciliatory views untouched. A subtle version of the objection contains a subtle but overlooked flaw. If the conciliatory view is right, it might be right to be dogmatically conciliatory (i.e., to continue to be conciliatory however objectionable this might seem to ourselves and to others).

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