Thank you, I enjoyed reading this. I don't know if you intentionally left out debates that have been ongoing in feminist epistemology/standpoint theory from Elisabeth Anderson (1995), Harding (1992), Intemann (2010), and especially Longino (1990) on social objectivity. If you did that is completely fine, there are many roads to the same argument (and blogs have a limited space), if you did not this is an amazing array of easy accessible literature to dive into that develops the Quinean epistemological tradition into a more modern era of social knowledge. I will not write any question here as I would rather discuss it in person :)

Another thought I had was that if you are looking for more convincing examples than the one with Catholic men, there is some very interesting literature from John G. Bullock on voter rationalism. He has made some experimental tests to see what political facts people from different political extremes believe in under different scenarios. When people are offered money for getting objective answers about political economy and political consequences right people from the far right and far left mostly agree on the facts. When no money is on the line they are very partisan in their beliefs about the same set of objective facts. There is something interesting here about what the right beliefs are, or whether beliefs are wholly dispositional and so just change under circumstances (this would have the consequence that beliefs are highly contextual and flexible). This is also just something that I would like to discuss with you in the future if you want to.



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I suppose my true objection to 'people should act by the majority, and advocate the minority' is that sometimes the majority is very wrong. I'm sure plenty of priests that preach sermons about how masturbation is a mortal sin don't really believe it (I consider preaching more of an action than advocacy) and are instead taking the outside view because they don't want to risk it. I'm also sure that those beliefs cause a lot of harm that can be avoided by sincerely preaching their individual beliefs. The thing is, individual beliefs aren't controlled the same way as societal beliefs—there are always more factors to societal ones, like power or special interests or plain inertia—so I think individual rationality is often the way to go.

Plus, I think there's something damaging to the acting individual when they don't act on their true beliefs. When someone's in a constant state of hypocrisy, it tends to make people crazy and guilty. I suppose it would be better to act on your beliefs and face the consequences rather than live in a constant state of double-think.

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The problem with "rationalism" (I find) it is based on a pragmatic "bestness". The problem with "bestness" is it is irrationally based on a distinct delineation of factual truth. Factual truths are what supposedly allow "rational" decision-making. You somewhat allude to how factual truths might be subjectively factual. Take for instance, American says it became a country in 1776. But it was not a country in 1776, it was in the midst of a war to become independent. So why not say America became a country when it succeeded in becoming a country or when it began agitating to be independent? Well some say everyone didn't want independence when the conflict began. But then everyone didn't want independence and some delegates didn't sign the declaration. But then after the treaty there were 13 loosely affiliated countries calling themselves the United States and some in all of those states repudiated independence. Even with the constitution not all signed but eventually 12 states did accept the union. Was that when it became one nation? And what about Rhode Island that never agreed to abandon its own sovereignty until it was threatened with total economic ostracization. In fact, like Maryland during the civil war, the legislature voted not to join the union and a new legislature was installed somewhat underhandedly that agreed to sign the constitution. The point is by selecting a particular date as the particulate beginning of the United States and then proclaiming that particulate (in essence, forcing that date to be taught, the rational understanding is skewed in favor of a particulate that is not essentially true but has been accepted as "truth" for rational understanding of the concept of the beginning of the United States. The problem with rational thinking it can only be rational if certain particulates can be defined a priori to any rational thought, but particulates of rationality are equally subject to falsehood because particulates cannot stand under scrutiny as definitive truth. If no particulates can with any ultimate determination be true, then rational thought, based only on accepted particulates becomes a basis for not being capable of defining itself.

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> and her action beliefs should be biased towards the inside view

I think this should be "outside view".

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