Disagreement as evidence: The epistemology of controversy

Philosophy Compass 4 (5):756-767 (2009)
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Abstract

How much should your confidence in your beliefs be shaken when you learn that others – perhaps 'epistemic peers' who seem as well-qualified as you are – hold beliefs contrary to yours? This article describes motivations that push different philosophers towards opposite answers to this question. It identifies a key theoretical principle that divides current writers on the epistemology of disagreement. It then examines arguments bearing on that principle, and on the wider issue. It ends by describing some outstanding questions that thinking about this issue raises.

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David Christensen
Brown University

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