University of Calgary
UofC Navigation

Philosophy Speakers: Jeremy Fantl (UCalgary), "The Ethics of Public Discourse"

Date & Time:
September 18, 2015 | 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Social Sciences Building, Room 1253

About the Talk

I argue, contra some Millian considerations, that there is no necessary obligation – individual or group – to engage with salient counterarguments when publicly endorsing positions or  enacting policies. In many such cases you can know that the salient counterargument is unsound. If you know a salient counterargument is unsound, then you can’t be expected to engage with it open-mindedly – with a willingness to adjust your commitments and reconsider your reasons if you can’t expose where the argument goes wrong. And you can’t be expected to engage with it closed-mindedly, because to do so is either impermissibly disrespectful or insincere. It follows that there is no individual obligation in such situations to engage with salient counter-arguments, and at most a limited group obligation.

About the Speaker 

Jeremy Fantl is Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies in Philosophy at the University of Calgary. His research interests are in the areas of epistemology, ethics, metaphysics, and philosophy of mind. He is the co-author (with Matthew McGrath) of Knowledge in an Uncertain World (Oxford University Press) and a co-editor (with Ernest Sosa, Jaigwon Kim and Matthew McGrath) of Epistemology: An Anthology (Blackwell).  He recently returned to UCalgary following a visiting associate professorship at Brandeis University.

Jeremy Fantl's website

Connect with Us Twitter Facebook LinkedIn