, Volume 80, Supplement 1, pp 153–165 | Cite as

Expressing Disagreement: A Presuppositional Indexical Contextualist Relativist Account

  • Dan López de Sa
Original Article


Many domains, notably the one involving predicates of personal taste, present the phenomenon of apparent faultless disagreement. Contextualism is a characteristically moderate implementation of the relativistic attempt to endorse such appearances. According to an often-voiced objection, although it straightforwardly accounts for the faultlessness, contextualism fails to respect “facts about disagreement.” With many other recent contributors to the debate, I contend that the notion of disagreement—“genuine,” “real,” “substantive,” “robust” disagreement—is indeed very flexible, and in particular can be constituted by contrasting attitudes. As such, contextualism is clearly straightforwardly compatible with facts about the existence of disagreement. There is, however, a genuine prima facie worry for contextualism involving facts about the expression of (existent) disagreement in ordinary conversations. Elaborating on a suggestion by Lewis (Proc Aristot Soc 63(Suppl):113–138, 1989), I argue that the presupposition of commonality approach in López de Sa (Relative truth. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2008) shows that there are versions of contextualism that are in good standing vis-à-vis such facts about the expression of (existent) disagreement.


Common Ground Contextualist Relativism Epistemic Modality Doxastic Attitude Good Standing 
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Earlier versions of this material were presented at the LOGOS Seminar and at workshops in Aberdeen, Bohn, Buenos Aires, Cerisy, Erfurt, Lisboa, and Victoria. Thanks to audiences in these occasions, and to Carl Baker, Gunnar Bjornsson, Aurélien Darbellay, Justina Diaz, Jose A Díez, Alexander Dinges, Filippo Ferrari, Manuel García-Carpintero, Camil Golup, Richard Heck, John Horden, Dirk Kindermann, John MacFarlane, Josep Macià, Teresa Marques, Eleonora Orlando, Michele Palmira, Josh Parsons, David Plunkett, Giulia Pravato, Sven Rosenkranz, Moritz Schulz, Isidora Stojanovic, Tim Sundell, Paula Sweeney, Pekka Väyrynen, Julia Zakkou, Elia Zardini, and Dan Zeman. Research has been partially funded by FFI2012-35026, and CSD2009-0056 (MINECO), 2014 SGR 81 (AGAUR), and ITN FP7-238128 (European Community).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ICREA & Universitat de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain

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