When Expert Disagreement Supports the Consensus

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 96 (1):142-156 (2018)
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It is often suggested that disagreement among scientific experts is a reason not to trust those experts, even about matters on which they are in agreement. In direct opposition to this view, I argue here that the very fact that there is disagreement among experts on a given issue provides a positive reason for non-experts to trust that the experts really are justified in their attitudes towards consensus theories. I show how this line of thought can be spelled out in three distinct frameworks for non-deductive reasoning: namely, Bayesian Confirmation Theory, Inference to the Best Explanation, and Inferential Robustness Analysis.

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Finnur Dellsén
University of Iceland


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