Resolute conciliationism

Philosophical Quarterly 65 (260):442-463 (2015)
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Abstract

‘Conciliationism’ is the view that disagreement with qualified disputants gives us a powerful reason for doubting our disputed views, a reason that will often be sufficient to defeat what would otherwise be strong evidential justification for our position. Conciliationism is disputed by many qualified philosophers, a fact that has led many to conclude that conciliationism is self-defeating. After examining one prominent response to this challenge and finding it wanting, I develop a fresh approach to the problem. I identify two levels at which one may show epistemic deference—the level of one's credences and the level of one's reasoning—and show that in disagreements over conciliationism, deference at one level results in non-deference at the other. A commitment to epistemic deference therefore does not provide a rational reason to reduce confidence when conciliationism itself is disputed. After presenting the case for ‘resolute conciliationism’, I address two objections.

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John Pittard
Yale University

Citations of this work

How to endorse conciliationism.Will Fleisher - 2021 - Synthese 198 (10):9913-9939.
Disagreement.Jonathan Matheson & Bryan Frances - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Akratic (epistemic) modesty.David Christensen - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (7):2191-2214.

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Epistemology of disagreement: The good news.David Christensen - 2007 - Philosophical Review 116 (2):187-217.
Reflection and disagreement.Adam Elga - 2007 - Noûs 41 (3):478–502.
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.
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.
Epistemological puzzles about disagreement.Richard Feldman - 2006 - In Stephen Hetherington (ed.), Epistemology Futures. Oxford University Press. pp. 216-236.

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