Hugo Hellström: Genealogy, Disagreement and Skepticism
Wednesday 30 November, 2022at 13:15 - 15:00
HUM.H.119 (prev. HD108)
The Research Seminar Series in Philosophy invites you to a seminar with Hugo Hellström, "Genealogy, Disagreement and Skepticism".
G. A. Cohen believes in the analytic/synthetic distinction. In the 1960’s, he was in a position to apply to either Oxford or Harvard for graduate school. Oxford graduates of Cohen’s generation overwhelmingly believe in the analytic/synthetic distinction, whereas Harvard graduates of his generation tend to not believe in it. Cohen chose to go to Oxford, but he could just as well have gone to Harvard. If he had, it seems very likely that he would not believe in the distinction. This casts doubt on Cohen’s belief. It may be that he only believes as he does because he chose to go to Oxford. But why precisely is that a problem? I will present three interpretations of what the issue may be. It is either (a) the causal history of his belief; (b) that there is peer disagreement about the distinction; or (c) that humans are fallible and prone to let irrelevant influences inform their beliefs, but that some such influences are epistemically harmless.
All interested are welcome to participate in this seminar.