Logos & Episteme

Volume 2, Issue 1, 2011

Richard D. Vulich
Pages 125-138


When one is involved in a disagreement with another individual it is important to know how much weight to give to the disputant's testimony. I argue that it is not necessary to have background information about the individual with whom one is disagreeing in order for one to rationally regard the disputant as an epistemic peer. I contrast this view with an alternative view according to which it is only rational to regard a disputant as a peer in cases where one has background information to indicate that the disputant is a peer. I show that unless we make some implausible assumptions about the truth-effectiveness of reconsideration, it is better to regard unknown disputants as peers because doing so increases the ratio of true to total beliefs in one's belief set.