Epistemic Peerhood, Likelihood, and Equal Weight

Logos and Episteme 8 (3):307-344 (2017)

Marc Andree Weber
Universität Mannheim
Standardly, epistemic peers regarding a given matter are said to be people of equal competence who share all relevant evidence. Alternatively, one can define epistemic peers regarding a given matter as people who are equally likely to be right about that matter. I argue that a definition in terms of likelihood captures the essence of epistemic peerhood better than the standard definition or any variant of it. What is more, a likelihood definition implies the truth of the central thesis in the debate on peer disagreement, the so-called Equal Weight View, according to which we should give the opinions of our peers the same weight we give our own. Adopting a likelihood definition, however, does not end the debate on peer disagreement, because the alleged theoretical alternatives to the Equal Weight View, reinterpreted in the light of a likelihood definition, can in fact be shown to be compatible with this view—though the reinterpreted versions may appear less plausible than the original ones.
Keywords Disagreement  Peers  Elga, Adam  Likelihood  Epistemic Rationality
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ISBN(s) 2069-0533
DOI 10.5840/logos-episteme20178325
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