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Harry and I, who have been colleagues for the past six years, were drinking coffee at Starbucks and trying to determine how many people from our department will be attending the upcoming APA. I, reasoning aloud, say, “Well, Mark and Mary are going on Wednesday, and Sam and Stacey are going on Thursday, and since 2 + 2 = 4, there will be four other members of our department at that conference.” In response, Harry asserts, “But 2 + 2 does not equal 4.”

( Lackey, 2010a , 308)

Lucky Lotto:

You have a ticket in a million ticket lottery. Each ticket is printed with three six-digit numbers that, when added, yield the seven-digit number that is entered into the lottery. Given the odds, I am highly justified in believing that your ticket is a loser, but I nevertheless add the numbers on your ticket just for fun. Having added the numbers and comparing the sum to the winning number—no match—I thereby become justified in believing that you did not win. Meanwhile, you are adding up your numbers as well, and comparing them to the winning number. You then exclaim “I won!”

( Christensen, 2007 , 200)

Conciliatory Views of Disagreement also face some challenges as a whole. We turn now to briefly examine three such challenges.

4.2.1 Skepticism

Conciliatory Views of disagreement often call for us to abandon our belief in the face of peer disagreement. That is, there are skeptical consequences to such views (perhaps most notably with the Equal Weight View). While the skepticism is both limited and contingent (it applies only to propositions that are subject to peer disagreement, and the existence of such a disagreement about any given proposition is itself a contingent matter), the propositions it appears to mandate skepticism about affect many of the beliefs that we hold near and dear. Controversial claims in science, religion, politics, and philosophy all appear to fall within the range of claims that Conciliatory Views of disagreement mandate skepticism about. BallyWelky Convertible Leather Loafers zlSzjr
After all, with respect to many claims in these domains we cannot appeal to a clear consensus among other peers and experts to rationally maintain our beliefs, since such a consensus is often not there to be found. Many find this skeptical consequence quite troubling. Stella McCartney ‘Odette naMdl1oKy

While the skeptical consequences of a Conciliatory View of peer disagreement may be troubling, few find this fact alone an epistemically sufficient reason to reject such views. A claim being troubling does not prevent it from being true. Perhaps these skeptical consequences are just more inconvenient truths that we must learn to live with.

Others have claimed that the skeptical consequences of Conciliatory Views do not readily apply to the real world. After all, our focus has been on disagreement, and as pointed out, it is implausible that any of us have many (if any) epistemic peers. Given the paucity of peers, it is plausible that Conciliatory Views of peer disagreement do not have straightforward skeptical consequences in the real world. Schutz Woman Jules Woven Raffia Platform Espadrille Brogues Neutral Size 7 vj3eqe

While this is a fair point, it is doubtful that these considerations entirely block the skeptical consequences of a broader Conciliatory View—one that extends the significance of disagreement beyond peer disagreement. While peerhood may infrequently obtain, the considerations that motivated the skeptical consequences in peer disagreement appear to have similar consequences when applied to cases of widespread and persistent disagreement among the experts, even if such disagreements do not amount to peer disagreements. That is, awareness of the deep controversy surrounding some issue seems to give us higher-order evidence that calls for significant conciliation, if not outright skepticism on those matters. MARSèLL Chunky platform sole ankle boots pwdx7ffujT

4.2.2 Self-Defeat

Another general challenge to Conciliatory Views of disagreement is that they appear to be self-defeating. There are peer disagreements about the epistemic significance of disagreement itself. So Conciliatory Views of disagreement appear to call for conciliation regarding one’s favored Conciliatory View of peer disagreement—likely even calling for abandonment of that belief. While this is most clearly true of the Equal Weight View, the disagreements about the significance of disagreement most closely parallel the cases of disagreement where even those who endorse the Total Evidence View or the Justificationist View also call for skepticism. So if Conciliatory Views of peer disagreement are true, it seems that we are not justified in believing them.

It is important to note that this kind of self-defeat does not concern the truth of Conciliatory Views of peer disagreement—disagreements about the significance of disagreement does not show that a Conciliatory View is false. The problem here is unlike the self-defeat problem that infects claims like “There are no true propositions.” At most, this self-defeat worry only has it that we are not Conciliatory Views of peer disagreement. Nevertheless, we are still left to contemplate the case made for Conciliatory Views. Just as global skeptics should not simply be dismissed by noting that by their own lights they are not justified in believing their global skepticism, so too the case for Conciliatory Views of peer disagreement must be assessed for its merits. Hilary Kornblith sums up his response to the self-defeating charge to his Conciliatory View as follows:

We can see further reason to question the upshot of this potential self-defeat problem by examining what other principles have this consequence. Consider the following example adapted from Christensen:

The epistemic principle in Minimal Humility is clearly true, yet it is also potentially self-undermining in the relevant way. One proposition that Minimal Humility could apply to is the principle of Minimal Humility itself. This shows that we should be quite cautious in what we proclaim to follow from the potential of an epistemic principle to undermine itself. Such a self-defeat objection appears to claim too many victims.

I offer this argument, however, in the spirit which I think we must offer any philosophical argument. Here is an argument. The premises seem to be true. They lead to a certain conclusion. If one wishes to reject the conclusion, it seems that one ought to have something to say about the argument: one ought to either offer a reason for thinking that one of the premises is false, or, alternatively, that the premises do not, in fact, support the conclusion. At the moment, I cannot see a way to defend either of these claims. And so I find this argument deeply disturbing. It is not a conclusion I wish to accept, but there is an argument for it which seems to force us to accept the conclusion. This argument leaves us all, I believe, in an uncomfortable position. It would be nice to get out of it.

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