, Volume 194, Issue 5, pp 1663–1680 | Cite as

A neo-Pyrrhonian response to the disagreeing about disagreement argument

  • Diego E. Machuca
Original Research


An objection that has been raised to the conciliatory stance on the epistemic significance of peer disagreement known as the Equal Weight View is that it is self-defeating, self-undermining, or self-refuting. The proponent of that view claims that equal weight should be given to all the parties to a peer dispute. Hence, if one of his epistemic peers defends the opposite view, he is required to give equal weight to the two rival views, thereby undermining his confidence in the correctness of the Equal Weight View. It seems that the same objection could be leveled against those who claim to suspend judgment in the face of pervasive unresolvable disagreements, as do the Pyrrhonian skeptics. In this paper, I explore the kind of response to the objection that could be offered from a neo-Pyrrhonian perspective, with the aim of better understanding the intriguing character of Pyrrhonian skepticism.


Pyrrhonian skepticism Suspension of judgment  Disagreement Conciliationism Equal weight view Self-defeat Self-refutation Rationality 



This paper began life as part of a talk I gave at Northwestern University in September 2011. An abridged version was presented at the Center for Hellenic Studies in April 2012. A fuller version was given at a conference on ancient and contemporary Pyrrhonism held at the Universidade Federal do Paraná in May 2013. I am grateful to the participants at that conference—in particular, Richard Bett and Stéphane Marchand—for their critical remarks. I would also like to thank three referees for Synthese for their comments and questions, which allowed me to clarify the aim of this paper and the nature of the neo-Pyrrhonian response to DDA.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y TécnicasBuenos AiresArgentina

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