Introduction: The Epistemology of Disagreement

Episteme 6 (3):231-232 (2009)
Abstract
One of the most salient features of forming beliefs in a social context is that people end up disagreeing with one another. This is not just an obvious fact about belief-formation; it raises interesting normative questions, especially when people become aware of the opinions of others. How should my beliefs be affected by the knowledge that others hold contrary beliefs? In some cases, the answer seems easy. If I have reason to think that my friend is much better informed than I am, her dissent will often require substantial revision in my belief. If I have reason to think she's mentally deranged, her dissent may require no revision at all. But other cases are more difficult. For example, how confident should I be about my views in epistemology, knowing that they are denied by philosophers at least as intelligent, sane, knowledgeable, diligent and honest as I am?
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