Scientific Controversies and the Ethics of Arguing and Belief in the Face of Rational Disagreement

Argumentation 28 (1):39-65 (2014)

Our main aim is to discuss the topic of scientific controversies in the context of a recent issue that has been the centre of attention of many epistemologists though not of argumentation theorists or philosophers of science, namely the ethics of belief in face of rational disagreement. We think that the consideration of scientific examples may be of help in the epistemological debate on rational disagreement, making clear some of the deficiencies of the discussion as it has been produced until now. Another central claim of our paper is that the common view according to which beliefs (and changes of beliefs) may exhibit and commonly exhibit a deontic status can be clarified in the light of Brandom’s approach to normative pragmatics and the pragmatic theories of argumentation that also have a normative character (here our example is van Eemeren’s pragma-dialectics). Our article highlights the similarities between both projects, similarities that to our knowledge were not noticed before. Finally, an important point of the article is that we need to take contextual elements into account in order to develop an adequate theory of disagreement
Keywords Argumentation theory  Scientific controversy  Pragma-dialectical approach  Commensurability  Rational disagreement  Ethics of belief
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DOI 10.1007/s10503-013-9300-4
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References found in this work BETA

Epistemology of Disagreement: The Good News.David Christensen - 2007 - Philosophical Review 116 (2):187-217.
Reflection and Disagreement.Adam Elga - 2007 - Noûs 41 (3):478–502.
Making It Explicit.Isaac Levi & Robert B. Brandom - 1996 - Journal of Philosophy 93 (3):145.
The Logic of Scientific Discovery.Karl Popper - 1959 - Studia Logica 9:262-265.
Reason, Truth and History.Hilary Putnam - 1981 - Philosophy of Science 51 (4):692-694.

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