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  1. Deep Disagreements and Rational Resolution.Jonathan Matheson - 2018 - Topoi:1-13.
    The purpose of this paper is to bring together work on disagreement in both epistemology and argumentation theory in a way that will advance the relevant debates. While these literatures can intersect in many ways, I will explore how some of views pertaining to deep disagreements in argumentation theory can act as an objection to a prominent view of the epistemology of disagreement—the Equal Weight View. To do so, I will explain the Equal Weight View of peer disagreement and show (...)
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  • Fundamental Disagreements and the Limits of Instrumentalism.John Pittard - 2019 - Synthese 196 (12):5009-5038.
    I argue that the skeptical force of a disagreement is mitigated to the extent that it is fundamental, where a fundamental disagreement is one that is driven by differences in epistemic starting points. My argument has three steps. First, I argue that proponents of conciliatory policies have good reason to affirm a view that I call “instrumentalism,” a view that commends treating our doxastic inclinations like instrumental readouts. Second, I show that instrumentalism supplies a basis for demanding conciliatory requirements in (...)
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  • Disagreement, Evidence, and Agnosticism.Jason Decker - 2012 - Synthese 187 (2):753-783.
    In this paper, I respond to recent attempts by philosophers to deny the existence of something that is both real and significant: reasonable disagreements between epistemic peers. In their arguments against the possibility of such disagreements, skeptical philosophers typically invoke one or more of the following: indifference reasoning , equal weight principles , and uniqueness theses . I take up each of these in turn, finding ample reason to resist them. The arguments for indifference reasoning and equal weight principles tend (...)
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  • On Merely Modal Epistemic Peers: Challenging the Equal-Weight View.Jimmy Alfonso Licon - 2013 - Philosophia 41 (3):809-823.
    There is a controversy, within social epistemology, over how to handle disagreement among epistemic peers. Call this the problem of peer disagreement. There is a solution, i.e. the equal-weight view, which says that disagreement among epistemic peers is a reason for each peer to lower the credence they place in their respective positions. However, this solution is susceptible to a serious challenge. Call it the merely modal peers challenge. Throughout parts of modal space, which resemble the actual world almost completely, (...)
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  • Why Only Externalists Can Be Steadfast.Jeroen de Ridder - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (S1):185-199.
    What is the rational response to disagreement with an epistemic peer? Some say the steadfast response of holding on to your own belief can be rational; others argue that some degree of conciliation is always rationally required. I argue that only an epistemological externalist about rationality—someone who holds that the rationality of a belief is partly constituted by factors outside a subject’s cognitive perspective—can defend the steadfast view. Or at least that this is so in the kinds of idealized cases (...)
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  • How to Endorse Conciliationism.Will Fleisher - 2021 - Synthese 198 (10):9913-9939.
    I argue that recognizing a distinct doxastic attitude called endorsement, along with the epistemic norms governing it, solves the self-undermining problem for conciliationism about disagreement. I provide a novel account of how the self-undermining problem works by pointing out the auxiliary assumptions the objection relies on. These assumptions include commitment to certain epistemic principles linking belief in a theory to following prescriptions of that theory. I then argue that we have independent reason to recognize the attitude of endorsement. Endorsement is (...)
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  • The Self-Undermining Arguments From Disagreement.Eric Sampson - 2019 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 14:23-46.
    Arguments from disagreement against moral realism begin by calling attention to widespread, fundamental moral disagreement among a certain group of people. Then, some skeptical or anti-realist-friendly conclusion is drawn. Chapter 2 proposes that arguments from disagreement share a structure that makes them vulnerable to a single, powerful objection: they self-undermine. For each formulation of the argument from disagreement, at least one of its premises casts doubt either on itself or on one of the other premises. On reflection, this shouldn’t be (...)
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  • The Epistemic Benefits of Disagreement.Kirk Lougheed - 2019 - Springer Verlag.
    This book presents an original discussion and analysis of epistemic peer disagreement. It reviews a wide range of cases from the literature, and extends the definition of epistemic peerhood with respect to the current one, to account for the actual variability found in real-world examples. The book offers a number of arguments supporting the variability in the nature and in the range of disagreements, and outlines the main benefits of disagreement among peers i.e. what the author calls the benefits to (...)
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  • The Limitations of the Open Mind.Jeremy Fantl - 2018 - Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    When should you engage with difficult arguments against your cherished controversial beliefs? The primary conclusion of this book is that your obligations to engage with counterarguments are more limited than is often thought. In some standard situations, you shouldn't engage with difficult counterarguments and, if you do, you shouldn't engage with them open-mindedly. This conclusion runs counter to aspects of the Millian political tradition and political liberalism, as well as what people working in informal logic tend to say about argumentation. (...)
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  • Living with Moral Disagreement.Roger Crisp - forthcoming - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice.
    This paper argues that suspension of judgement is the appropriate response to disagreement about ultimate moral principles, and outlines the implications of such a response. It begins with an argument influenced by Sextus and Sidgwick for the rationality of suspension, and then illustrates fundamental disagreement with the case of promising. Replies are offered to the arguments against the rationality of suspension offered by Robert Audi in his discussion of moral perception. It is noted in particular that such rationality does not (...)
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  • Armchair Disagreement.Marc Andree Weber - 2017 - Metaphilosophy 48 (4):527-549.
    A commonly neglected feature of the so-called Equal Weight View, according to which we should give our peers’ opinions the same weight we give our own, is its prima facie incompatibility with the common picture of philosophy as an armchair activity: an intellectual effort to seek a priori knowledge. This view seems to imply that our beliefs are more likely to be true if we leave our armchair in order to find out whether there actually are peers who, by disagreeing (...)
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  • Disagreeing with the (Religious) Skeptic.Tomas Bogardus - 2013 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 74 (1):5-17.
    Some philosophers believe that, when epistemic peers disagree, each has an obligation to accord the other’s assessment equal weight as her own. Other philosophers worry that this Equal-Weight View is vulnerable to straightforward counterexamples, and that it requires an unacceptable degree of spinelessness with respect to our most treasured philosophical, political, and religious beliefs. I think that both of these allegations are false. To show this, I carefully state the Equal-Weight View, motivate it, describe apparent counterexamples to it, and then (...)
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  • Moral Intuitionism and Disagreement.Brian Besong - 2014 - Synthese 191 (12):2767-2789.
    According to moral intuitionism, at least some moral seeming states are justification-conferring. The primary defense of this view currently comes from advocates of the standard account, who take the justification-conferring power of a moral seeming to be determined by its phenomenological credentials alone. However, the standard account is vulnerable to a problem. In brief, the standard account implies that moral knowledge is seriously undermined by those commonplace moral disagreements in which both agents have equally good phenomenological credentials supporting their disputed (...)
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  • Should We Be Dogmatically Conciliatory?Clayton Littlejohn - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (5):1381-1398.
    A familiar complaint about conciliatory approaches to disagreement is that they are self-defeating or incoherent because they ‘call for their own rejection’. This complaint seems to be influential but it isn’t clear whether conciliatory views call for their own rejection or what, if anything, this tells us about the coherence of such views. We shall look at two ways of developing this self-defeat objection and we shall see that conciliatory views emerge unscathed. A simple version of the self-defeat objection leaves (...)
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  • Debating the Significance of Disagreement: A Review of John Pittard's Diagreement, Deference, and Religious Commitment. [REVIEW]Jonathan Matheson - 2020 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 9 (7):36-44.
    Richard Feldman’s “Reasonable Religious Disagreements” launched debates about the epistemic significance of disagreement that have been a dominant point of discussion in epistemology as of late. While most of these debates have been concerned with disagreement more generally, Feldman’s original focus was religious disagreement, and John Pittard returns the focus to religious disagreement in Disagreement, Deference, and Religious Commitment. Pittard’s book delves deeply into debates about the significance of disagreement with a foot in both epistemology and philosophy of religion. It (...)
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  • Rationality, Uncertainty, and Unanimity: An Epistemic Critique of Contractarianism.Alexander Schaefer - 2021 - Economics and Philosophy 37 (1):82-117.
    This paper considers contractarianism as a method of justification. The analysis accepts the key tenets of contractarianism: expected utility maximization, unanimity as the criteria of acceptance, and social-scientific uncertainty of modelled agents. In addition to these three features, however, the analysis introduces a fourth feature: a criteria of rational belief formation, viz. Bayesian belief updating. Using a formal model, this paper identifies a decisive objection to contractarian justification. Insofar as contractarian projects approximate the Agreement Model, therefore, they fail to justify (...)
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  • A New Solution to the Problem of Peer Disagreement.Ruth Weintraub - 2020 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 63 (8):795-811.
    ABSTRACT In this paper, I defend a new solution to the problem of peer disagreement, the question as to how you should respond when you learn that your ‘epistemic peer’ disagrees with you about some issue. I consider four test cases that together impugn every extant full-blown theory about peer disagreement. I present my own solution, show that it delivers the intuitive verdict in the test cases and address some objections.
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  • A Neo-Pyrrhonian Response to the Disagreeing About Disagreement Argument.Diego E. Machuca - 2017 - Synthese 194 (5):1663-1680.
    An objection that has been raised to the conciliatory stance on the epistemic significance of peer disagreement known as the Equal Weight View is that it is self-defeating, self-undermining, or self-refuting. The proponent of that view claims that equal weight should be given to all the parties to a peer dispute. Hence, if one of his epistemic peers defends the opposite view, he is required to give equal weight to the two rival views, thereby undermining his confidence in the correctness (...)
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  • Religious Belief and the Epistemology of Disagreement.Michael Thune - 2010 - Philosophy Compass 5 (8):712-724.
    Consider two people who disagree about some important claim (e.g. the future moral and political consequences of current U.S. economic policy are X). They each believe the other person is in possession of relevant evidence, is roughly equally competent to evaluate that evidence, etc. From the epistemic point of view, how should such recognized disagreement affect their doxastic attitude toward the original claim? Recent research on the epistemology of disagreement has converged upon three general ways of answering this question. The (...)
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  • Explanationism provides the best explanation of the epistemic significance of peer disagreement.Matt Lutz - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (7):1811-1828.
    In this paper, I provide a novel explanationist framework for thinking about peer disagreement that solves many of the puzzles regarding disagreement that have troubled epistemologists over the last two decades. Explanationism is the view that a subject is justified in believing a proposition just in case that proposition is part of the best explanation of that subject’s total evidence. Applying explanationism to the problem of peer disagreement yields the following principle: in cases of peer disagreement, the thing that the (...)
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  • Peer Disagreement and Counter-Examples.Ruth Weintraub - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (7):1773-1790.
    Two kinds of considerations are thought to be relevant to the correct response to the discovery of a peer who disagrees with you about some question. The first is general principles pertaining to disagreement. According to the second kind of consideration, a theory about the correct response to peer disagreement must conform to our intuitions about test cases. In this paper, I argue against the assumption that imperfect conformity to our intuitions about test cases must count against a theory about (...)
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  • Conciliation and Self-Incrimination.Jason Decker - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (5):1099-1134.
    Conciliationism is a view—well, a family of views—in the epistemology of disagreement. The idea, simply put, is that, in a wide range of cases where you find yourself in disagreement with another reasoner about the truth of some proposition, you are rationally obliged to adjust your credence in the direction of hers. Conciliationism enjoys a fair bit of prima facie plausibility. Most versions of it, however, suffer from a common (and rather obvious) problem: self-incrimination. Although there is some recognition in (...)
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  • Not Just a Truthometer: Taking Oneself Seriously (but Not Too Seriously) in Cases of Peer Disagreement.David Enoch - 2010 - Mind 119 (476):953-997.
    How should you update your (degrees of) belief about a proposition when you find out that someone else — as reliable as you are in these matters — disagrees with you about its truth value? There are now several different answers to this question — the question of `peer disagreement' — in the literature, but none, I think, is plausible. Even more importantly, none of the answers in the literature places the peer-disagreement debate in its natural place among the most (...)
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  • Rational Uniqueness and Religious Disagreement.Christopher Willard-Kyle - manuscript
    This paper argues for extreme rational permissivism—the view that agents with identical evidence can rationally believe contradictory hypotheses—and a mild version of steadfastness. Agents can rationally come to different conclusions on the basis of the same evidence because their way of weighing the theoretic virtues may differ substantially. Nevertheless, in the face of disagreement, agents face considerable pressure to reduce their confidence. Indeed, I argue that agents often ought to reduce their confidence in the higher-order propositions that they know or (...)
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  • A Neo-Pyrrhonian Approach to the Epistemology of Disagreement.Diego E. Machuca - 2013 - In D. E. Machuca (ed.), Disagreement and Skepticism. Routledge. pp. 66-89.
    This paper approaches the current epistemological debate on peer disagreement from a neo-Pyrrhonian perspective, thus adopting a form of skepticism which is more radical than those discussed in the literature. It makes use of argumentative strategies found in ancient Pyrrhonism both to show that such a debate rests on problematic assumptions and to block some maneuvers intended to offer an efficacious way of settling a considerable number of peer disputes. The essay takes issue with three views held in the peer (...)
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  • Nonconciliation in Peer Disagreement: Its Phenomenology and Its Rationality.David Henderson, Terry Horgan, Matjaz Potrc & Hannah Tierney - 2017 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 94 (1-2):194-225.
    The authors argue in favor of the “nonconciliation” (or “steadfast”) position concerning the problem of peer disagreement. Throughout the paper they place heavy emphasis on matters of phenomenology—on how things seem epistemically with respect to the net import of one’s available evidence vis-à-vis the disputed claim p, and on how such phenomenology is affected by the awareness that an interlocutor whom one initially regards as an epistemic peer disagrees with oneself about p. Central to the argument is a nested goal/sub-goal (...)
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  • From Independence to Conciliationism: An Obituary.Errol Lord - 2013 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy (2):1-13.
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Volume 92, Issue 2, Page 365-377, June 2014.
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  • Disagreement and Epistemic Peers.Jonathan Matheson - 2015 - Oxford Handbooks Online.
    An introduction to the debate of the epistemic significance of peer disagreement. This article examines the epistemic significance of peer disagreement. It pursues the following questions: (1) How does discovering that an epistemic equal disagrees with you affect your epistemic justification for holding that belief? (e.g., does the evidence of it give you a defeater for you belief?) and (2) Can you rationally maintain your belief in the face of such disagreement? This article explains and motivates each of the central (...)
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  • From Independence to Conciliationism: An Obituary.Errol Lord - 2014 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (2):365-377.
    Conciliationists about peer disagreement hold that when one disagrees with an epistemic peer about some proposition p, one should significantly change one's view about p. Many arguments for conciliationism appeal to a principle Christensen [2011] dubs Independence. Independence says that evaluations of the beliefs of those with whom one disagrees should not be made on the basis of one's initial reasoning about p. In this paper, I show that this principle is false. I also show that two weaker principles that (...)
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  • Verbal Disagreements and Philosophical Scepticism.Nathan Ballantyne - 2016 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (4):752-765.
    ABSTRACTMany philosophers have suggested that disagreement is good grounds for scepticism. One response says that disagreement-motivated scepticism can be mitigated to some extent by the thesis that philosophical disputes are often verbal, not genuine. I consider the implications of this anti-sceptical strategy, arguing that it trades one kind of scepticism for others. I conclude with suggestions for further investigation of the epistemic significance of the nature of philosophical disagreement.
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  • Epistemic Abstainers, Epistemic Martyrs, and Epistemic Converts.Scott F. Aikin, Michael Harbour & Robert B. Talisse - 2010 - Logos and Episteme 1 (2):211-219.
    An intuitive view regarding the epistemic significance of disagreement says that when epistemic peers disagree, they should suspend judgment. This abstemious view seems to embody a kind of detachment appropriate for rational beings; moreover, it seems to promote a kind of conciliatory inclination that makes for irenic and cooperative further discussion. Like many strategies for cooperation, however, the abstemious view creates opportunities for free-riding. In this essay, the authors argue that the believer who suspends judgment in the face of peer (...)
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  • Modest Meta‐Philosophical Skepticism.Jimmy Alfonso Licon - 2019 - Ratio 32 (2):93-103.
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  • Disagreement.Jonathan Matheson & Bryan Frances - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    This article examines the central epistemological issues tied to the recognition of disagreement.
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