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Disagreement

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2018)

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  1. Disagreement About Disagreement? What Disagreement About Disagreement?Alex Worsnip - 2014 - Philosophers' Imprint 14.
    Disagreement is a hot topic in epistemology. A fast-growing literature centers around a dispute between the ‘steadfast’ view, on which one may maintain one’s beliefs even in the light of disagreement with epistemic peers who have all the same evidence, and the ‘conciliationist’ view, on which such disagreement requires a revision of attitudes. In this paper, however, I argue that there is less separating the main rivals in the debate about peer disagreement than is commonly thought. The extreme versions of (...)
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  • Conciliationism and Merely Possible Disagreement.Zach Barnett & Han Li - 2016 - Synthese 193 (9):1-13.
    Conciliationism faces a challenge that has not been satisfactorily addressed. There are clear cases of epistemically significant merely possible disagreement, but there are also clear cases where merely possible disagreement is epistemically irrelevant. Conciliationists have not yet accounted for this asymmetry. In this paper, we propose that the asymmetry can be explained by positing a selection constraint on all cases of peer disagreement—whether actual or merely possible. If a peer’s opinion was not selected in accordance with the proposed constraint, then (...)
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  • Uniqueness and Metaepistemology.Daniel Greco & Brian Hedden - 2016 - Journal of Philosophy 113 (8):365-395.
    We defend Uniqueness, the claim that given a body of total evidence, there is a uniquely rational doxastic state that it is rational for one to be in. Epistemic rationality doesn't give you any leeway in forming your beliefs. To this end, we bring in two metaepistemological pictures about the roles played by rational evaluations. Rational evaluative terms serve to guide our practices of deference to the opinions of others, and also to help us formulate contingency plans about what to (...)
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  • Uniqueness, Evidence, and Rationality.Nathan Ballantyne & E. J. Coffman - 2011 - Philosophers' Imprint 11.
    Two theses figure centrally in work on the epistemology of disagreement: Equal Weight (‘EW’) and Uniqueness (‘U’). According to EW, you should give precisely as much weight to the attitude of a disagreeing epistemic peer as you give to your own attitude. U has it that, for any given proposition and total body of evidence, some doxastic attitude is the one the evidence makes rational (justifies) toward that proposition. Although EW has received considerable discussion, the case for U has not (...)
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  • Respecting the Evidence.Richard Feldman - 2005 - Philosophical Perspectives 19 (1):95–119.
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  • How to Disagree About How to Disagree.Adam Elga - 2007 - In Ted Warfield & Richard Feldman (eds.), Disagreement. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 175-186.
    When one encounters disagreement about the truth of a factual claim from a trusted advisor who has access to all of one's evidence, should that move one in the direction of the advisor's view? Conciliatory views on disagreement say "yes, at least a little." Such views are extremely natural, but they can give incoherent advice when the issue under dispute is disagreement itself. So conciliatory views stand refuted. But despite first appearances, this makes no trouble for *partly* conciliatory views: views (...)
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  • Rational Disagreement Defended.Earl Conee - 2010 - In Richard Feldman & Ted A. Warfield (eds.), Disagreement. Oxford University Press.
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  • Epistemic Permissiveness.Roger White - 2005 - Philosophical Perspectives 19 (1):445–459.
    A rational person doesn’t believe just anything. There are limits on what it is rational to believe. How wide are these limits? That’s the main question that interests me here. But a secondary question immediately arises: What factors impose these limits? A first stab is to say that one’s evidence determines what it is epistemically permissible for one to believe. Many will claim that there are further, non-evidentiary factors relevant to the epistemic rationality of belief. I will be ignoring the (...)
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  • Disagreement, Relativism and Doxastic Revision.J. Adam Carter - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (S1):1-18.
    I investigate the implication of the truth-relativist’s alleged ‘ faultless disagreements’ for issues in the epistemology of disagreement. A conclusion I draw is that the type of disagreement the truth-relativist claims to preserve fails in principle to be epistemically significant in the way we should expect disagreements to be in social-epistemic practice. In particular, the fact of faultless disagreement fails to ever play the epistemically significant role of making doxastic revision rationally required for either party in a disagreement. That the (...)
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  • Moral Disagreement and Moral Skepticism.Katia Vavova - 2014 - Philosophical Perspectives 28 (1):302-333.
    The fact of moral disagreement when conjoined with Conciliationism, an independently attractive view about the epistemic significance disagreement, seems to entail moral skepticism. This worries those who like Conciliationism, the independently attractive view, but dislike moral skepticism. Others, equally inclined against moral skepticism, think this is a reductio of Conciliationism. I argue that they are both wrong. There is no reductio and nothing to worry about.
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  • Disagreement.Bryan Frances - 2010 - In Duncan Pritchard & Sven Bernecker (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Epistemology. Routledge.
    This is a short essay that presents what I take to be the main questions regarding the epistemology of disagreement.
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  • The Moral Evil Demons.Ralph Wedgwood - 2010 - In Richard Feldman & Ted A. Warfield (eds.), Disagreement. Oxford University Press.
    Moral disagreement has long been thought to create serious problems for certain views in metaethics. More specifically, moral disagreement has been thought to pose problems for any metaethical view that rejects relativism—that is, for any view that implies that whenever two thinkers disagree about a moral question, at least one of those thinkers’ beliefs about the question is not correct. In this essay, I shall outline a solution to one of these problems. As I shall argue, it turns out in (...)
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  • Religious Disagreement: An Empirical Study Among Academic Philosophers.Helen De Cruz - 2017 - Episteme 14 (1).
    Religious disagreement is an emerging topic of interest in social epistemology. Little is known about how philosophers react to religious disagreements in a professional context, or how they think one should respond to disagreement. This paper presents results of an empirical study on religious disagreement among philosophers. Results indicate that personal religious beliefs, philosophical training, and recent changes in religious outlook have a significant impact on philosophers' assessments of religious disagreement. They regard peer disagreement about religion as common, and most (...)
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  • Group Peer Disagreement.J. Adam Carter - 2014 - Ratio 27 (3):11-28.
    A popular view in mainstream social epistemology maintains that, in the face of a revealed peer disagreement over p, neither party should remain just as confident vis-a-vis p as she initially was. This ‘conciliatory’ insight has been defended with regard to individual epistemic peers. However, to the extent that (non-summativist) groups are candidates for group knowledge and beliefs, we should expect groups (no less than individuals) to be in the market for disagreements. The aim here will be to carve out (...)
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  • Conciliation and Peer-Demotion in the Epistemology of Disagreement.Juan Comesana - 2012 - American Philosophical Quarterly 49 (3):237-252.
    What should your reaction be when you find out that someone that you consider an "epistemic peer" disagrees with you? Two broad approaches to this question have gained support from different philosophers. Precise characterizations of these approaches will be given later, but consider for now the following approximations. First, there is the "conciliatory" approach, according to which the right reaction to a disagreement is to move one's opinion towards that of one's peer, in proportion to the degree of trust that (...)
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  • Skepticism and Disagreement.Markus Lammenranta - 2011 - In Diego E. Machuca (ed.), Pyrrhonism in Ancient, Modern, and Contemporary Philosophy. Dordrecht: Springer. pp. 203-216.
    Though ancient Pyrrhonian skepticism is apparently based on disagreement, this aspect of skepticism has been widely neglected in contemporary discussion on skepticism. The paper provides a rational reconstruction of the skeptical argument from disagreement that can be found in the books of Sextus Empiricus. It is argued that this argument forms a genuine skeptical paradox that has no fully satisfactory resolution. All attempts to resolve it make knowledge or justified belief either intuitively too easy or impossible.
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  • Agrippan Pyrrhonism and the Challenge of Disagreement.Diego E. Machuca - 2015 - Journal of Philosophical Research 40:23-39.
    This paper argues for the following three claims. First, the Agrippan mode from disagreement does not play a secondary role in inducing suspension of judgment. Second, the Pyrrhonist is not committed to the criteria of justification underlying the Five Modes of Agrippa, which nonetheless does not prevent him from non-doxastically assenting to them. And third, some recent objections to Agrippan Pyrrhonism raised by analytic epistemologists and experimental philosophers fail to appreciate the Pyrrhonist's ad hominem style of argumentation and the real (...)
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  • Peer Disagreement and Two Principles of Rational Belief.Theodore J. Everett - 2015 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (2):273-286.
    This paper presents a new solution to the problem of peer disagreement that distinguishes two principles of rational belief, here called probability and autonomy. When we discover that we disagree with peers, there is one sense in which we rationally ought to suspend belief, and another in which we rationally ought to retain our original belief. In the first sense, we aim to believe what is most probably true according to our total evidence, including testimony from peers and authorities. In (...)
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  • Undermining, Circularity, and Disagreement.Andrew Rotondo - 2013 - Synthese 190 (3):563-584.
    Sometimes we get what seem to be good reasons for believing that we’ve misevaluated our evidence for a proposition P. In those cases, can we use our evidence for P itself to show that we haven’t misevaluated our evidence for P? I show why doing so appears to employ viciously circular reasoning. However, I then argue that this appearance is illusory in certain cases and that we sometimes can legitimately reason in that way. This claim sheds new light on the (...)
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  • Disagreement, Evidence, and Agnosticism.Jason Decker - 2012 - Synthese 187 (2):753-783.
    In this paper, I respond to recent attempts by philosophers to deny the existence of something that is both real and significant: reasonable disagreements between epistemic peers. In their arguments against the possibility of such disagreements, skeptical philosophers typically invoke one or more of the following: indifference reasoning , equal weight principles , and uniqueness theses . I take up each of these in turn, finding ample reason to resist them. The arguments for indifference reasoning and equal weight principles tend (...)
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  • Reliabilism in Philosophy.Sanford C. Goldberg - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 142 (1):105 - 117.
    The following three propositions appear to be individually defensible but jointly inconsistent: (1) reliability is a necessary condition on epistemic justification; (2) on contested matters in philosophy, my beliefs are not reliably formed; (3) some of these beliefs are epistemically justified. I explore the nature and scope of the problem, examine and reject some candidate solutions, compare the issue with ones arising in discussions about disagreement, and offer a brief assessment of our predicament.
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  • Inclusiveness in the Face of Anticipated Disagreement.Sanford C. Goldberg - 2013 - Synthese 190 (7):1189-1207.
    This paper discusses the epistemic outcomes of following a belief-forming policy of inclusiveness under conditions in which one anticipates systematic disagreement with one’s interlocutors. These cases highlight the possibility of distinctly epistemic costs of inclusiveness, in the form of lost knowledge of or a diminishment in one’s rational confidence in a proposition. It is somewhat controversial whether following a policy of inclusiveness under such circumstances will have such costs; this will depend in part on the correct account of the epistemic (...)
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  • Calibrated Probabilities and the Epistemology of Disagreement.Barry Lam - 2013 - Synthese 190 (6):1079-1098.
    This paper assesses the comparative reliability of two belief-revision rules relevant to the epistemology of disagreement, the Equal Weight and Stay the Course rules. I use two measures of reliability for probabilistic belief-revision rules, calibration and Brier Scoring, to give a precise account of epistemic peerhood and epistemic reliability. On the calibration measure of reliability, epistemic peerhood is easy to come by, and employing the Equal Weight rule generally renders you less reliable than Staying the Course. On the Brier-Score measure (...)
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  • Warranted Christian Belief.Alvin Plantinga - 2000 - Oxford University Press USA.
    This is the third volume in Alvin Plantinga's trilogy on the notion of warrant, which he defines as that which distinguishes knowledge from true belief. In this volume, Plantinga examines warrant's role in theistic belief, tackling the questions of whether it is rational, reasonable, justifiable, and warranted to accept Christian belief and whether there is something epistemically unacceptable in doing so. He contends that Christian beliefs are warranted to the extent that they are formed by properly functioning cognitive faculties, thus, (...)
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  • Disagreements, Philosophical and Otherwise.Brian Weatherson - 2013 - In Jennifer Lackey & David Christensen (eds.), The Epistemology of Disagreement: New Essays. Oxford University Press. pp. 54.
    Conciliatory theories of disagreement face a revenge problem; they cannot be coherently believed by one who thinks they have peers who are not conciliationists. I argue that this is a deep problem for conciliationism.
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  • How Skeptical is the Equal Weight View?Jonathan Matheson & Brandon Carey - 2013 - In Diego Machuca (ed.), Disagreement and Skepticism. Routledge. pp. 131-149.
    Much of the literature on the epistemology of disagreement focuses on the rational responses to disagreement, and to disagreement with an epistemic peer in particular. The Equal Weight View claims that in cases of peer disagreement each dissenting peer opinion is to be given equal weight and, in a case of two opposing equally-weighted opinions, each party should adopt the attitude which ‘splits the difference’. The Equal Weight View has been taken by both its critics and its proponents to have (...)
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  • When a Skeptical Hypothesis Is Live.Bryan Frances - 2005 - Noûs 39 (4):559–595.
    I’m going to argue for a set of restricted skeptical results: roughly put, we don’t know that fire engines are red, we don’t know that we sometimes have pains in our lower backs, we don’t know that John Rawls was kind, and we don’t even know that we believe any of those truths. However, people unfamiliar with philosophy and cognitive science do know all those things. The skeptical argument is traditional in form: here’s a skeptical hypothesis; you can’t epistemically neutralize (...)
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  • An Argument for Uniqueness About Evidential Support.Sinan Dogramaci & Sophie Horowitz - 2016 - Philosophical Issues 26 (1):130-147.
    White, Christensen, and Feldman have recently endorsed uniqueness, the thesis that given the same total evidence, two rational subjects cannot hold different views. Kelly, Schoenfield, and Meacham argue that White and others have at best only supported the weaker, merely intrapersonal view that, given the total evidence, there are no two views which a single rational agent could take. Here, we give a new argument for uniqueness, an argument with deliberate focus on the interpersonal element of the thesis. Our argument (...)
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  • Permissive Rationality and Sensitivity.Benjamin Levinstein - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 94 (2):342-370.
    Permissivism about rationality is the view that there is sometimes more than one rational response to a given body of evidence. In this paper I discuss the relationship between permissivism, deference to rationality, and peer disagreement. I begin by arguing that—contrary to popular opinion—permissivism supports at least a moderate version of conciliationism. I then formulate a worry for permissivism. I show that, given a plausible principle of rational deference, permissive rationality seems to become unstable and to collapse into unique rationality. (...)
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  • Disagreement and the Value of Self-Trust.Robert Pasnau - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (9):2315-2339.
    Controversy over the epistemology of disagreement endures because there is an unnoticed factor at work: the intrinsic value we give to self-trust. Even if there are many instances of disagreement where, from a strictly epistemic or rational point of view, we ought to suspend belief, there are other values at work that influence our all-things considered judgments about what we ought to believe. Hence those who would give equal-weight to both sides in many cases of disagreement may be right, from (...)
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  • Higher‐Order Evidence and the Limits of Defeat.Maria Lasonen-Aarnio - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (2):314-345.
    Recent authors have drawn attention to a new kind of defeating evidence commonly referred to as higher-order evidence. Such evidence works by inducing doubts that one’s doxastic state is the result of a flawed process – for instance, a process brought about by a reason-distorting drug. I argue that accommodating defeat by higher-order evidence requires a two-tiered theory of justification, and that the phenomenon gives rise to a puzzle. The puzzle is that at least in some situations involving higher-order defeaters (...)
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  • Reflection and Disagreement.Adam Elga - 2007 - Noûs 41 (3):478–502.
    How should you take into account the opinions of an advisor? When you completely defer to the advisor's judgment, then you should treat the advisor as a guru. Roughly, that means you should believe what you expect she would believe, if supplied with your extra evidence. When the advisor is your own future self, the resulting principle amounts to a version of the Reflection Principle---a version amended to handle cases of information loss. When you count an advisor as an epistemic (...)
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  • The Value of Epistemic Disagreement in Scientific Practice. The Case of Homo Floresiensis.Helen De Cruz & Johan De Smedt - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (2):169-177.
    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 (...)
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  • Disagreement: Idealized and Everyday.Jonathan Matheson - 2014 - In Jonathan Matheson Rico Vitz (ed.), The Ethics of Belief: Individual and Social. Oxford University Press. pp. 315-330.
    While puzzles concerning the epistemic significance of disagreement are typically motivated by looking at the widespread and persistent disagreements we are aware of, almost all of the literature on the epistemic significance of disagreement has focused on cases idealized peer disagreement. This fact might itself be puzzling since it doesn’t seem that we ever encounter disagreements that meet the relevant idealized conditions. In this paper I hope to somewhat rectify this matter. I begin by closely examining what an idealized case (...)
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  • On the Rationality of Belief-Invariance in Light of Peer Disagreement.B. Lam - 2011 - Philosophical Review 120 (2):207-245.
    This paper considers two questions. First, what is the scope of the Equal Weight View? Is it the case that meeting halfway is the uniquely rational method of belief-revision in all cases of known peer disagreement? The answer is no. It is sometimes rational to maintain your own opinion in the face of peer disagreement. But this leaves open the possibility that the Equal Weight View is indeed sometimes the uniquely rational method of belief revision. Precisely what is the skeptical (...)
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  • Counterfactual Philosophers.Nathan Ballantyne - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (2):368-387.
    I argue that reflection on philosophers who could have been working among us but aren’t can lead us to give up our philosophical beliefs.
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  • The Uniqueness Thesis.Matthew Kopec & Michael G. Titelbaum - 2016 - Philosophy Compass 11 (4):189-200.
    The Uniqueness Thesis holds, roughly speaking, that there is a unique rational response to any particular body of evidence. We first sketch some varieties of Uniqueness that appear in the literature. We then discuss some popular views that conflict with Uniqueness and others that require Uniqueness to be true. We then examine some arguments that have been presented in its favor and discuss why permissivists find them unconvincing. Last, we present some purported counterexamples that have been raised against Uniqueness and (...)
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  • Nominalism, Naturalism, Epistemic Relativism.Gideon Rosen - 2001 - Noûs 35 (s15):69 - 91.
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  • Rational Reflection.David Christensen - 2010 - Philosophical Perspectives 24 (1):121-140.
    This paper explores an initially attractive principle connecting beliefs in general with beliefs about what beliefs are rational. The principle turns out to be violated by intuitively rational beliefs in some situations. The paper lays out some options for reacting to this fact.
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  • Evident, but Rationally Unacceptable.Earl Conee - 1987 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 65 (3):316 – 326.
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  • Disagreement and the First‐Person Perspective.Gurpreet Rattan - 2014 - Analytic Philosophy 55 (1):31-53.
    Recently, philosophers have put forth views in the epistemology of disagreement that emphasize the epistemic relevance of the first-person perspective in disa- greement. In the first part of the paper, I attempt a rational reconstruction of these views. I construe these views as invoking the first-person perspective to explain why it is rational for parties to a disagreement to privilege their own opinions in the absence of independent explanations for doing so—to privilege without independent explanations. I reconstruct three ways privilege (...)
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  • Moral Caution and the Epistemology of Disagreement.Jonathan Matheson - 2016 - Journal of Social Philosophy 47 (2):120-141.
    In this article, I propose, defend, and apply a principle for applied ethics. According to this principle, we should exercise moral caution, at least when we can. More formally, the principle claims that if you should believe or suspend judgment that doing an action is a serious moral wrong, while knowing that not doing that action is not morally wrong, then you should not do that action. After motivating this principle, I argue that it has significant application in applied ethics. (...)
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  • Religious Belief and the Epistemology of Disagreement.Michael Thune - 2010 - Philosophy Compass 5 (8):712-724.
    Consider two people who disagree about some important claim (e.g. the future moral and political consequences of current U.S. economic policy are X). They each believe the other person is in possession of relevant evidence, is roughly equally competent to evaluate that evidence, etc. From the epistemic point of view, how should such recognized disagreement affect their doxastic attitude toward the original claim? Recent research on the epistemology of disagreement has converged upon three general ways of answering this question. The (...)
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  • Warranted Christian Belief.Alvin Plantinga - 2000 - Philosophia Christi 3 (2):327-328.
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  • Disagreement and Evidential Attenuation.Maria Lasonen-Aarnio - 2013 - Noûs 47 (4):767-794.
    What sort of doxastic response is rational to learning that one disagrees with an epistemic peer who has evaluated the same evidence? I argue that even weak general recommendations run the risk of being incompatible with a pair of real epistemic phenomena, what I call evidential attenuation and evidential amplification. I focus on a popular and intuitive view of disagreement, the equal weight view. I take it to state that in cases of peer disagreement, a subject ought to end up (...)
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  • How Common is Peer Disagreement? On Self‐Trust and Rational Symmetry.Karl Schafer - 2015 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 91 (1):25-46.
    In this paper I offer an argument for a view about the epistemology of peer disagreement, which I call the “Rational Symmetry View”. I argue that this view follows from a natural conception of the epistemology of testimony, together with a basic entitlement to trust our own faculties for belief formation. I then discuss some objections to this view, focusing on its relationship to other well-known views in the literature. The upshot of this discussion is that, if the Rational Symmetry (...)
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  • The Reflective Epistemic Renegade.Bryan Frances - 2010 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (2):419 - 463.
    Philosophers often find themselves in disagreement with contemporary philosophers they know full well to be their epistemic superiors on the topics relevant to the disagreement. This looks epistemically irresponsible. I offer a detailed investigation of this problem of the reflective epistemic renegade. I argue that although in some cases the renegade is not epistemically blameworthy, and the renegade situation is significantly less common than most would think, in a troublesome number of cases in which the situation arises the renegade is (...)
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  • The Self-Undermining Objection to the Epistemology of Disagreement.Shawn Graves - 2013 - Faith and Philosophy 30 (1):93-106.
    Disagreements about, within, and between religions are widespread. It’s no surprise, then, that there’s an enormous philosophical literature on religious diversity. But in recent years, philosophers working in mainstream epistemology have done a lot of work on disagreement in general. This work has focused in particular upon the epistemology of peer disagreement, i.e., disagreements between parties who are justifiably believed to be epistemic equals regarding the matter at hand. In this paper, I intend to defend a thesis in the epistemology (...)
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  • Plantinga on Exclusivism.Richard Feldman - 2003 - Faith and Philosophy 20 (1):85-90.
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  • Multi‐Peer Disagreement and the Preface Paradox.Kenneth Boyce & Allan Hazlett - 2014 - Ratio 29 (1):29-41.
    The problem of multi-peer disagreement concerns the reasonable response to a situation in which you believe P1 … Pn and disagree with a group of ‘epistemic peers’ of yours, who believe ∼P1 … ∼Pn, respectively. However, the problem of multi-peer disagreement is a variant on the preface paradox; because of this the problem poses no challenge to the so-called ‘steadfast view’ in the epistemology of disagreement, on which it is sometimes reasonable to believe P in the face of peer disagreement (...)
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