Date of Award

8-10-2021

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Philosophy

First Advisor

Daniel Weiskopf

Second Advisor

Neil Van Leeuwen

Abstract

People as group members tend to exhibit a partial attitude to either conform to the dominant group view or form beliefs—such as climate change denial and religious belief—based on other ingroup members’ testimony when the evidence for such a belief is insufficient. Philosophers have conceptualized this phenomenon of ingroup attitudes in terms of belief. In this paper, I argue that reliance, a cognitive attitude that is goal-oriented and primarily regulated by pragmatic concerns, is more fitting to illuminate cases of ingroup attitudes. Framing the discussion of ingroup attitudes in terms of reliance has three virtues: it captures the volitional aspect of the ingroup attitude that the norm governing belief fails to offer; it explains the indifference to evidence that occurs in cases of ingroup attitudes; and it resolves the seeming irrationality in acting against what one believes.

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