Epistemic Relativism and Reasonable Disagreement

In Richard Feldman & Ted A. Warfield (eds.), Disagreement. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 187-215 (2010)
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Abstract

I begin with some familiar conceptions of epistemic relativism. One kind of epistemic relativism is descriptive pluralism. This is the simple, non-normative thesis that many different communities, cultures, social networks, etc. endorse different epistemic systems (E-systems), i.e., different sets of norms, standards, or principles for forming beliefs and other doxastic states. Communities try to guide or regulate their members’ credence-forming habits in a variety of different, i.e., incompatible, ways. Although there may be considerable overlap across cultures in certain types of epistemic norms (e.g., norms for perceptual belief), there are sharp differences across groups in other types of epistemic norms.

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Alvin Goldman
Rutgers University - New Brunswick

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