Disagreement, peerhood, and three paradoxes of Conciliationism
Conciliatory theories of disagreement require that one lower one’s confidence in a belief in the face of disagreement from an epistemic peer. One question about which people might disagree is who should qualify as an epistemic peer and who should not. But when putative epistemic peers disagree about epistemic peerhood itself, then Conciliationism makes contradictory demands and paradoxes arise.
KeywordsDisagreement Epistemic peer Paradox Conciliationism Self-defeating arguments
I am indebted to Bruce Brower, who, in the autumn of 2013, led the Tulane seminar on disagreement in which these ideas first took shape, and who weighed in on earlier drafts of this paper. I also thank Nathan Biebel and Jesse Hill for their thoughtful criticisms, and three anonymous reviewers, each of whom provided helpful comments which improved this work. I also wish to acknowledge, with gratitude, financial support provided by the Edward Marshall Ballard Memorial Fund and Tulane’s School of Liberal Arts.
- Christensen, D. (2011). Disagreement, question-begging and epistemic self-criticism. Philosophers’ Im-print, 11, 1–22.Google Scholar
- Feldman, R. (2006). Epistemological puzzles about disagreement. In S. Hetherington (Ed.), Epistemology futures (pp. 216–236). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Feldman, R. (2007). Reasonable religious disagreements. In L. M. Antony (Ed.), Philosophers without gods: Meditations on atheism and the secular life (pp. 194–214). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Gelfert, A. (2011). Who is an epistemic peer? Logos & Episteme, 2, 507–514.Google Scholar
- Gutting, G. (1982). Religious belief and religious skepticism. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press.Google Scholar
- Kelly, T. (2005). The epistemic significance of disagreement. In T. S. Gendler & J. Hawthorne (Eds.), Oxford studies in epistemology (Vol. 1, pp. 167–196). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Pittard, J. (manuscript). Resolute conciliationism. Retrieved 28 Aug 2014 from http://www.johnpittard.com/John_Pittard/Research_files/Pittard.%20Resolute%20Conciliationism.pdf.