Relativism, Faultlessness, and the Epistemology of Disagreement

Logos and Episteme 9 (2):137-150 (2018)
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Abstract

Abstract: Recent years have witnessed a revival of interest in relativism. Proponents have defended various accounts that seek to model the truth-conditions of certain propositions along the lines of standard possible world semantics. The central challenge for such views has been to explain what advantage they have over contextualist theories with regard to the possibility of disagreement. I will press this worry against Max Kölbel’s account of faultless disagreement. My case will proceed along two distinct but connected lines. First, I will argue that the sense of faultlessness made possible by his relativism conflicts with our intuitive understanding of disagreement. And second, that his meta-epistemological commitments are at odds with the socio-epistemic function of disagreement. This latter problem for relativistic accounts of truth has thus far been largely ignored in the literature.

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Micah Dugas
University of Louisiana At Lafayette

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