Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



Major Professor

Adam Cureton

Committee Members

Nora Berenstain, J. Clerk Shaw, Jon Garthoff


We often encounter persons who hold unreasonable beliefs. I explore how respect informs our response to these persons. I conclude that we ought to be willing or disposed to engage in rational discussion sometimes and to some extent with persons who hold unreasonable beliefs as a way of recognizing and respecting their rational nature. I describe what the duty of rational engagement looks like in practice and apply the duty to individual cases. I then explore various considerations, including the consideration of self-respect, that influence whether we have reason to engage and how we should respond in different cases.

Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."