Higher Order Evidence and Deep Disagreement

Topoi 40 (5):1039-1050 (2018)
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Abstract

In deep disagreements local disagreements are intertwined with more general basic disagreements about the relevant evidence, standards of argument or proper methods of inquiry in that domain. The paper provides a more specific conception of deep disagreement along these lines and argues that while we should generally conciliate in cases of disagreement, this is not so in deep disagreements. The paper offers a general view of disagreement, holding roughly that one should moderate one’s credence towards uncertainty in so far as disagreement with others provides undefeated higher order evidence that one might have made a mistake in one’s appreciation of the first order evidence. When applying this view to deep disagreement we get that in cases of deep disagreement higher order evidence from disagreement is rebutted or undercut by the nature of the disagreement. So, in cases of deep disagreement one should not moderate one’s credence. I finally argue that this gives a better general view of deep disagreement than views appealing to epistemic peers, personal information or independence.

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Klemens Kappel
University of Copenhagen

References found in this work

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.
Experts: Which ones should you trust?Alvin I. Goldman - 2001 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 63 (1):85-110.
Peer Disagreement and Higher Order Evidence.Thomas Kelly - 2010 - In Richard Feldman & Ted A. Warfield (eds.), Disagreement. Oxford University Press.
The logic of deep disagreements.Robert Fogelin - 1985 - Informal Logic 7 (1):3-11.

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