THE POSSIBILITY OF REASONABLE DISAGREEMENT

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Abstract
In the essay “Reasonable Religious Disagreements,” Dr. Richard Feldman examines reasonable disagreements between peers. More specifically, he asks whether such disagreements are possible, and also whether the parties to such a disagreement could think that both their own belief and the belief of their peer with whom they disagree are reasonable. Feldman argues that there cannot be any such thing as a reasonable disagreement, and furthermore, that the parties to a disagreement are not epistemically licensed to think that their own belief and their opponents belief are both reasonable. As Feldman notes, “open and honest discussion seems to have the puzzling effect of making reasonable disagreement impossible”. My project herein will be (in §2) to explain Feldman’s notion of a reasonable disagreement, and then reconstruct and assess his argumentation, and (in §3) advance three objections to Feldman’s argument. I will focus on denying Feldman’s answer to his first question—that reasonable disagreement between peers is not possible—and my suggestion is that if any of these three objections to Feldman’s argument go through, then the argument falls. And if Feldman’s argument falls, then his argument no longer provides grounds for our thinking that reasonable disagreement is impossible.
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Archival date: 2017-07-27
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