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De Cruz's New Paper on Irrelevant Influences

Helen De Cruz has a fascinating new paper on irrelevant influences on views in philosophy of religion. Here's the abstract:
To what extent do factors such as upbringing and education shape our philosophical views? And if they do, does this cast doubt on the philosophical results we have ob-tained? This paper investigates irrelevant influences in philosophy through a qualitativesurvey on the personal beliefs and attitudes of philosophers of religion. In the light of these findings, I address two questions: an empirical one (whether philosophers of religion are influenced by irrelevant factors in forming their philosophical attitudes), andan epistemological one (whether the influence of irrelevant factors on our philosophicalviews should worry us). The answer to the empirical question is a confident yes, to the epistemological question, a tentative yes.
The paper is still in draft, so the relevant norms about that apply.


Cary Cook said…
Ms. De Cruz, thank you for addressing this relevant problem.

You can't be faulted for narrowing your study to philosophers of religion. But the problem extends to all philosophers and even scientists.

A few things must be clarified:
The 1st question: Whether philosophers of religion are influenced by irrelevant factors, is both empirical and epistemological (in the sense that what they claim to know, and how they claim to know it, are influenced by irrelevant factors).
The 2nd question: Whether the influence of irrelevant factors on our philosophical views should worry us is not epistemological. It's axiological.

Most people don't even know that emotion is detrimental to probability judgment.

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