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Epistemic Inertia and Epistemic Isolationism

Manson, Neil (2009) Epistemic Inertia and Epistemic Isolationism. Journal of Applied Philosophy, 26 (3). pp. 291-298. ISSN 1468-5930

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Abstract

Allen Buchanan argues that conventional applied ethics is impoverished and would be enriched by the addition of social moral epistemology. The aim here is to clarify this argument and to raise questions about whether such an addition is necessary about how such enrichment would work in practice. Two broad problems are identified. First, there are various kinds and sources of epistemic inertia, which act as an obstacle to epistemic change. Religion is one striking example and seems to pose a deep problem for Buchanan's liberal social moral epistemology. Philosophy also exhibits a distinctive kind of epistemic inertia (metaphilosophical beliefs about the impropriety of applying philosophy are hard to shift), but also suffers from epistemic isolationism: (its arguments and conclusions are isolated from practical influence). It is concluded that not only will a liberal social moral epistemology have to overcome a pernicious epistemic inertia with regard to religious belief, but also a different kind of epistemic inertia closer to home.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Applied Philosophy
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Departments: Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences > Politics & International Relations (Merged into PPR 2010-08-01)
ID Code: 55383
Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
Deposited On: 25 Jun 2012 11:50
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 09 Apr 2014 23:41
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/55383

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