In defence of dogmatism

Luca Moretti* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

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16 Citations (Scopus)
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According to Jim Pryor’s dogmatism, when you have an experience with content p, you often have prima facie justification for believing p that doesn’t rest on your independent justification for believing any proposition. Although dogmatism has an intuitive appeal and seems to have an antisceptical bite, it has been targeted by various objections. This paper principally aims to answer the objections by Roger White according to which dogmatism is inconsistent with the Bayesian account of how evidence affects our rational credences. If this were true, the rational acceptability of dogmatism would be seriously questionable. I respond that these objections don’t get off the ground because they assume that our experiences and our introspective beliefs that we have experiences have the same evidential force, whereas the dogmatist is uncommitted to this assumption. I also consider the question whether dogmatism has an antisceptical bite. I suggest that the answer turns on whether or not the Bayesian can determine the priors of hypotheses and conjectures on the grounds of their extra-empirical virtues. If the Bayesian can do so, the thesis that dogmatism has an antisceptical bite is probably false.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-282
Number of pages22
JournalPhilosophical Studies
Issue number1
Early online date22 Feb 2014
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2015

Bibliographical note

I am very grateful to Catrin Campbell-Moore, Lorenzo Casini, Richard Dawid, Dylan Dodd, Anna-Maria Eder, Filippo Ferrari, Stephan Hartmann, Elisabetta Lalumera, Tommaso Piazza, Soroush Rafiee-Rad, Karim Thebault, Lars Weisbrod, Elia Zardini and a reviewer of this Journal for important comments and criticism upon drafts of this paper. Part of my research was supported by a Visiting Fellowship from the Tilburg Centre for Logic and Philosophy of Science and a Carnegie Grant from the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland. The final draft of this paper was written at the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy (MCMP). I thank the MCMP for hosting me and for providing a stimulating atmosphere to conduct this research.


  • dogmatism
  • bayesianism
  • perceptual scepticism
  • perceptual justification
  • immediate justification
  • explanationism
  • Jim Pryor
  • Roger White
  • Nico Silins


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