Studia Humana 6 (2):7-16 (2017)

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Abstract
A lively exchange in recent epistemology considers the problem of epistemic disagreement between peers: disagreement between those who share evidence and have equal cognitive abilities. Two main views have emerged about how to proceed in such circumstances: be steadfast in maintaining one’s own view or conciliate, and suspend or reduce one’s confidence in one’s belief. Talmudic debates do seem to promote steadfastness, as the disputants are not called on to conciliate purely because they confront a disagreeing peer. But why? Third party judgments are even more problematic, for what epistemic warrant is there for choosing between a disagreement of superiors? A common explanation for Talmudic steadfastness is the notion ’elu w’elu divrey ’Elohim kayim – both sides of Talmudic disputes have ‘heavenly’ legitimacy. But a closer look at this oft-quoted dictum and its various interpretations does not, in fact, reveal such support for steadfastness. Other explanations for Talmudic steadfastness are, therefore, required.
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DOI 10.1515/sh-2017-0008
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