The value of epistemic disagreement in scientific practice. The case of Homo floresiensis

Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Epistemic peer disagreement raises interesting questions, both in epistemology and in philosophy of science. When is it reasonable to defer to the opinion of others, and when should we hold fast to our original beliefs? What can we learn from the fact that an epistemic peer disagrees with us? A question that has received relatively little attention in these debates is the value of epistemic peer disagreement—can it help us to further epistemic goals, and, if so, how? We investigate this through a recent case in paleoanthropology: the debate on the taxonomic status of Homo floresiensis remains unresolved, with some authors arguing the fossils represent a novel hominin species, and others claiming that they are Homo sapiens with congenital growth disorders. Our examination of this case in the recent history of science provides insights into the value of peer disagreement, indicating that it is especially valuable if one does not straightaway defer to a peer’s conclusions, but nevertheless remains open to a peer’s evidence and arguments.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
Revision history
Archival date: 2013-07-17
View upload history
References found in this work BETA

View all 25 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Rational Endorsement.Fleisher, Will
Harms and Wrongs in Epistemic Practice.Barker, Simon; Crerar, Charlie & Goetze, Trystan S.
Disagreement.Matheson, Jonathan & Frances, Bryan

View all 9 citations / Add more citations

Added to PP index

Total views
1,098 ( #1,850 of 42,943 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
156 ( #2,579 of 42,943 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.