The central question of the peer disagreement debate is: what should you believe about the disputed proposition if you have good reason to believe that an epistemic peer disagrees with you? This article shows that this question is ambiguous between evidential support (or propositional justification) and well-groundedness (or doxastic justification). The discussion focuses on conciliatory views, according to which peer disagreements require you to significantly revise your view or to suspend judgment. The article argues that for a wide range of conceptions of evidential support, conciliatory views are false if they are understood entirely in terms of evidential support. Alternative conceptions of evidential support face some serious difficulties. These arguments speak against conciliationism, but the article then goes on to defend a conciliatory view about well-grounded belief: when you believe p, and you have good reason to believe that your epistemic peer disagrees with you, you are not justified in believing p because that belief is no longer well grounded. This picture of the epistemology of peer disagreement offers a reconciliation of some of the main competing views in the literature: conciliationism is true when we look at well-grounded belief, but a nonconciliatory view like Thomas Kelly's “total evidence view” is correct when we look at peer disagreement exclusively in terms of evidential support.
Research Article|July 01 2013
Peer Disagreement, Evidence, and Well-GroundednessPeer Disagreement, Evidence, and Well-GroundednessHan van Wietmarschen
The Philosophical Review (2013) 122 (3): 395-425.
Han van Wietmarschen; Peer Disagreement, Evidence, and Well-Groundedness
Peer Disagreement, Evidence, and Well-Groundedness
Han van Wietmarschen. The Philosophical Review 1 July 2013; 122 (3): 395–425. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00318108-2087654
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