A Critique of Contextualist Approaches to Peer Disagreement

Discipline Filosofiche 22 (2):27-48 (2012)

Michele Palmira
Complutense University of Madrid
Contemporary epistemology devotes much attention to disagreements among epistemic peers, that is, disagreements in which subjects take themselves to be equals with respect to the evidence that bears on the matter at issue as well as general intellectual virtues. The crucial question is: what should you do when you disagree with an epistemic peer? The paper pursues three goals. First, it clarifies some as of yet unexplained details of the problem of peer disagreement. Second, it distinguishes between Invariantist and Contextualist Treatments of the problem. Third, it provides an assessment of Contextualist Treatments. These are attractive because they seem to have the resources to capture the intuition that the rational response to peer disagreement varies across contexts. However, this paper argues that Contextualist Treatments don’t fare any better than their Invariantist rivals.
Keywords Disagreement  Invariantism  Contextualism
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