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Article: Moral hinges and Steadfastness
Author(s): Chris Ranalli
An article by Chris Ranalli on ‘Moral hinges and steadfastness’, published in a special issue of Metaphilosophy: Metatheories of Disagreement; Volume 52, Issue 3-4.
Epistemic rationality seems to permit a more steadfast response to disagreements over our fundamental convictions than it does for our ordinary beliefs. Why is this? This essay explores three answers to this question: web-of-belief conservatism, moral encroachment, and hinge theories, and argues that hinge theories do a better job than the alternatives at vindicating the intuition that there is a rationally permissible asymmetry in our responses to disagreements over ordinary beliefs and fundamental convictions. The essay also shows how hinge theorists can explain the existence of moral hinge propositions, which enables them to account for the rational permissibility of being steadfast in response to disagreements over fundamental moral convictions.