The Epistemic Benefits of Disagreement

Springer Verlag (2019)
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Abstract

This book presents an original discussion and analysis of epistemic peer disagreement. It reviews a wide range of cases from the literature, and extends the definition of epistemic peerhood with respect to the current one, to account for the actual variability found in real-world examples. The book offers a number of arguments supporting the variability in the nature and in the range of disagreements, and outlines the main benefits of disagreement among peers i.e. what the author calls the benefits to inquiry argument.

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Chapters

Disagreement and Change of View

In this final chapter I tie things together, in part, by addressing the concern that if the Benefits to Inquiry Argument is sound it will license an irrational dogmatism by allowing an agent to remain steadfast in her beliefs by appealing to some vague notion of potential future epistemic benefits. ... see more

Objections to the Benefits to Inquiry Argument

In this chapter I outline and respond to a number of objections to the Benefits to Inquiry Argument. I begin with what I take to be the weakest objections and conclude with the strongest objections. The most promising objection to the Benefits to Inquiry Argument is that it conflates practical reaso... see more

The Benefits to Inquiry Argument

In this chapter I develop and defend an important argument in the epistemology of disagreement literature, initially gestured at by Catherine Z. Elgin . This argument advances the idea that there are possible future epistemic benefits to be gained if an agent continues to develop and defend her beli... see more

An Analysis of Epistemic Peerhood

In the previous chapter I argued that there are significant differences between simple and complex cases of disagreement. In this chapter I analyze the strict notion of epistemic peerhood used throughout the epistemology of disagreement literature. Such notions typically involve the idea that agents... see more

An Analysis of Ideal Cases of Disagreement

In the epistemology of disagreement literature, many authors use certain cases of disagreement in order to lend support to either conciliationism or non-conciliationism. Richard Feldman and David Christensen, among others, are advocates of the view that lessons from simple idealized cases of disagre... see more

Introduction to the Epistemology of Disagreement

Part of the recent explosion in the literature on the epistemology of disagreement has generally confined itself to the following problem: Suppose that after an agent comes to believe proposition P she finds out that there is an epistemic peer—someone of equal intelligence and ability—who has evalua... see more

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Author's Profile

Kirk Lougheed
University of Pretoria

Citations of this work

Pursuit and inquisitive reasons.Will Fleisher - 2022 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 94 (C):17-30.
The Epistemic Benefits of Worldview Disagreement.Kirk Lougheed - 2021 - Social Epistemology 35 (1):85-98.
Moral hinges and steadfastness.Chris Ranalli - 2021 - Metaphilosophy 52 (3-4):379-401.
Dilemmas, Disagreement, and Dualism.Elizabeth Jackson - 2021 - In Scott Stapleford, Kevin McCain & Matthias Steup (eds.), Epistemic Dilemmas: New Arguments, New Angles. New York, USA: Routledge. pp. 217–231.

View all 11 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

On Certainty (ed. Anscombe and von Wright).Ludwig Wittgenstein - 1969 - New York and London: Harper Torchbooks.
Epistemology of disagreement: The good news.David Christensen - 2007 - Philosophical Review 116 (2):187-217.
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.
Debunking Evolutionary Debunking.Katia Vavova - 2014 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 9:76-101.
The epistemic significance of disagreement.Thomas Kelly - 2005 - In Tamar Szabó Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Oxford Studies in Epistemology, Volume 1. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 167-196.

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