Logos and Episteme 9 (4):379-402 (2018)

Authors
John Biro
University of Florida
Fabio Lampert
University of Greifswald
Abstract
What the rational thing to do in the face of disagreement by an epistemic peer is has been much discussed recently. Those who think that a peer’s disagreement is itself evidence against one’s belief, as many do, are committed to a special form of epistemic dependence. If such disagreement is really evidence, it seems reasonable to take it into account and to adjust one’s belief accordingly. But then it seems that the belief one ends up with depends, in part, on what someone else believes, even if one does not know why that someone believes what he does. While the practical impossibility of finding actual cases of peer disagreement has been often noted, its conceptual possibility has gone unquestioned. Here we challenge this consensus and argue, first, that, strictly speaking, peer disagreement is impossible and, second, that cases of – all-too-common – near-peer disagreement present no special puzzle and require nothing more than adhering to standard principles of sensible epistemic conduct. In particular, we argue that in such cases there is no good reason to adopt the widely accepted principle that evidence of evidence is evidence. If so, even if one takes a near-peer’s disagreement as a reason for reexamining one’s belief, one is not epistemically dependent in the sense one would be if that disagreement were evidence concerning the matter in question.
Keywords Analytic Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy  Philosophy of Mind
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s) 2069-0533
DOI 10.5840/logos-episteme20189431
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Epistemology of Disagreement: The Good News.David Christensen - 2007 - Philosophical Review 116 (2):187-217.
Peer Disagreement and Higher Order Evidence.Thomas Kelly - 2010 - In Alvin I. Goldman & Dennis Whitcomb (eds.), Social Epistemology: Essential Readings. Oxford University Press. pp. 183--217.
The Epistemic Significance of Disagreement.Thomas Kelly - 2005 - In Tamar Szabó Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Oxford Studies in Epistemology, Volume 1. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 167-196.

View all 19 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

What is Evidence of Evidence Evidence Of?Fabio Lampert & John Biro - 2017 - Logos and Episteme 8 (2):195-206.
Disagreement and Epistemic Peers.Jonathan Matheson - 2015 - Oxford Handbooks Online.
Peer Disagreement and Two Principles of Rational Belief.Theodore J. Everett - 2015 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (2):273-286.
Peer-Disagreement About Restaurant Bills and Abortion.Martin Sticker - 2017 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 94 (4):577-604.
Uniqueness Revisited.Igor Douven - 2009 - American Philosophical Quarterly 46 (4):347 - 361.
Who is an Epistemic Peer?Axel Gelfert - 2011 - Logos and Episteme 2 (4):507-514.
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.
Suspension and disagreement.Pieter van der Kolk & Sander Verhaegh - 2016 - Algemeen Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Wijsbegeerte 108 (1):37-52.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2018-10-04

Total views
307 ( #35,163 of 2,520,892 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
26 ( #33,873 of 2,520,892 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes