Guest Lecture: Elia Zardani
Speaker: Elia Zardini (Northern Institute of Philosophy, University of Aberdeen).
Title: Learning the Less Likely: Dogmatism, Transmission and Probability Lowering.
Abstract: Dogmatism about perceptual justification holds that one’s having a perceptual experience as though P constitutes an at least prima facie justification for one’s believing that P. A strengthening of this view also holds that such justification can be transmitted through a Moorean argument so as to acquire a new justification for believing the negation of sceptical hypotheses. An influential objection to the strengthened dogmatist view maintains that it is inconsistent with basic principles of (Bayesian) confirmation theory. The inconsistency however only obtains under the (widespread) assumption that probability lowering is incompatible with acquisition of justification. I show that, given an independently appealing view of the relationship between justification and probability, the assumption is untenable, and offer counterexamples to it. Moreover, I argue that the counterexamples are relevant, in the sense that they exemplify an abstract structure that the strengthened dogmatist view holds is also exemplified in the case of the relevant Moorean arguments. I close by discussing the prospects of an even stronger dogmatist view holding that dogmatic perceptual justification can be transmitted through a Moorean argument so as to acquire a first justification for believing the negation of sceptical hypotheses.