Philosophy and disagreement

Critica 43 (127):3-25 (2011)

Brian Ribeiro
University of Tennessee, Chattanooga
Disagreement as we find it in both the history and the contemporary practice of philosophy is an inadequately understood phenomenon. In this paper I outline and motivate the problem of disagreement, arguing that "hard cases" of disagreement confront us with an unresolved, and seemingly unresolvable, challenge to the rationality of philosophical discourse, thereby raising the specter of a worri-some form of metaphilosophical skepticism. A variety of responses and attempted evasions are considered, though none are found to be particularly satisfying: Thus, the specter remains unexorcised. El desacuerdo que encontramos tanto en la historia como en la práctica contemporánea de la filosofía es un fenómeno mal entendido. En este trabajo hago un esbozo y aduzco los motivos del problema del desacuerdo, argumentando que los "casos difíciles" de desacuerdo nos confrontan con un problema sin resolver y al parecer sin posibilidad de resolverse, que pone en duda la racionalidad del discurso filosófico, y con lo cual surge el espectro de una preocupante forma de escepticismo metafilosófico. Examino varias respuestas y tentativas de evasiones, aunque ninguna de ellas es particularmente satisfactoria. Así, el espectro sigue sin ser exorcizado.
Keywords disagreement  consensus  metaphilosophy  skepticism
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