Disagreeing with Confidence

Theoria 83 (4):419-439 (2017)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Does having an initially high level of justified confidence in a belief vindicate remaining steadfast in the face of disagreement? According to one prominent view in the literature, namely Jennifer Lackey's justificationist position, the answer is yes so long as one also has personal information that provides a symmetry-breaker. In this article, I raise a problem for the justificationist view. On the most straightforward reading of the justificationist position, personal information always provides a symmetry-breaker in a peer dispute over a belief in which one has high justified confidence. However, this position is implausibly strong because it renders epistemically permissible a dogmatic attitude in a relevant set of peer disagreements. Alternatively, weaker readings of the view fail to provide a perspicuous account of when high justified confidence matters in a disagreement.

Similar books and articles

A Justificationist View of Disagreement’s Epistemic Significance.Jennifer Lackey - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 53:145-154.
A justificationist view of disagreement’s epistemic significance.Jennifer Lackey - 2008 - In Duncan Pritchard, Alan Millar & Adrian Haddock (eds.), Social Epistemology. Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press. pp. 145-154.
Discovering Disagreeing Epistemic Peers and Superiors.Bryan Frances - 2012 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 20 (1):1-21.
The Lockean Thesis and the Logic of Belief.James Hawthorne - 2009 - In Franz Huber & Christoph Schmidt-Petri (eds.), Degrees of belief. London: Springer. pp. 49--74.
Some Problems With Steadfast Strategies for Rational Disagreement.Hamid Vahid - 2014 - Symposion: Theoretical and Applied Inquiries in Philosophy and Social Sciences 1 (1):89-107.
How to set a surprise exam.Ned Hall - 1999 - Mind 108 (432):647-703.
Shooting with Confidence.Kevin Kinghorn - 2007 - In Jerry Walls & Gregory Bassham (eds.), Basketball and Philosophy. University Press of Kentucky. pp. 185-195.
What should we do when we disagree?Jennifer Lackey - 2005 - In Tamar Szabó Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Oxford Studies in Epistemology. Oxford University Press. pp. 274-93.
Confidence, Evidence, and Disagreement.Katia Vavova - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (S1):173-183.
How Common is Peer Disagreement? On Self‐Trust and Rational Symmetry.Karl Schafer - 2015 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 91 (1):25-46.
On Confidence.Nathan Rotenstreich - 1972 - Philosophy 47 (182):348 - 358.


Added to PP

298 (#68,946)

6 months
58 (#81,516)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Brian Besong
Saint Francis University

Citations of this work

Disagreement, Dogmatism, and the Bounds of Philosophy. [REVIEW]Nick Hughes - 2019 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 27 (4):591-596.
The Method of Cases in Context. [REVIEW]Alison Springle - 2019 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 27 (4):597-608.

Add more citations

References found in this work

The epistemic significance of disagreement.Thomas Kelly - 2019 - In Jeremy Fantl, Matthew McGrath & Ernest Sosa (eds.), Contemporary epistemology: an anthology. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. pp. 167-196.
An Essay Concerning Human Understanding.John Locke - 1979 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 169 (2):221-222.
Skepticism and the Veil of Perception.Michael Huemer - 2001 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 69 (1):234-237.
Knowledge: Undefeated justified true belief.Keith Lehrer & Thomas Paxson - 1969 - Journal of Philosophy 66 (8):225-237.

View all 14 references / Add more references