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Disagreement and a Functional Equal Weight View


If a colleague of mine, whose opinion I respect, disagrees with me about some claim, this might give me pause regarding my position on the matter. The Equal Weight view proposes that in such cases of peer disagreement I ought to give my colleague’s opinion as much weight as my own, and decrease my certainty in the disputed claim. One prominent criticism of the Equal Weight view is that treating higher-order (indirect) evidence in this way invariably swamps first-order (direct) evidence. While the opinions of our peers matter in our deliberations, the Equal Weight view counter-intuitively requires that evidence of mere disagreement is more important than standard kinds of evidence. I offer a proposal for how we should idealize epistemic agents that identifies the variable feature of disagreements that accounts for the shifting significance of direct and indirect evidence in different disagreement contexts. Specifically, by idealizing epistemic agents as deriving functions that characterize the non-subjective relationship between a body of evidence and the reasonableness of believing the various propositions supported by that evidence, we can accommodate the intuition to compromise that motivates the Equal Weight view, without accepting the counter-intuitive results.

Englisch, Portuguese
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Philosophie, Einzelne philosophische Strömungen, Analytische Philosophie