Disagreement, Certainties, Relativism

Topoi 40 (5):1097-1105 (2018)
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Abstract

This paper seeks to widen the dialogue between the “epistemology of peer disagreement” and the epistemology informed by Wittgenstein’s last notebooks, later edited as On Certainty. The paper defends the following theses: not all certainties are groundless; many of them are beliefs; and they do not have a common essence. An epistemic peer need not share all of my certainties. Which response to a disagreement over a certainty is called for, depends on the type of certainty in question. Sometimes a form of relativism is the right response. Reasonable, mutually recognized peer disagreement over a certainty is possible.—The paper thus addresses both interpretative and systematic issues. It uses Wittgenstein as a resource for thinking about peer disagreement over certainties.

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Author's Profile

Martin Kusch
University of Vienna

References found in this work

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1962 - Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Edited by Ian Hacking.
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas Samuel Kuhn - 1962 - Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Edited by Otto Neurath.
Remarks on the foundations of mathematics.Ludwig Wittgenstein - 1967 - Oxford [Eng.]: Blackwell. Edited by G. E. M. Anscombe, Rush Rhees & G. H. von Wright.
Epistemology of disagreement: The good news.David Christensen - 2007 - Philosophical Review 116 (2):187-217.
Is Water H2O? Evidence, Realism and Pluralism.Hasok Chang - 2012 - Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science.

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