Social Theory and Practice

Volume 44, Issue 4, October 2018

Federico Zuolo, Giulia Bistagnino
Pages 593-618

Disagreement, Peerhood, and Compromise

This paper addresses the problem of pluralism in democratic societies, by exploiting some insights from the debate about the epistemology of disagreement. First, by focusing on the permissibility of experiments on nonhuman animals for research purposes, we provide an epistemic analysis of deep normative disagreements. We understand that to mean disagreements in which epistemic peers disagree about both the substantive content of an ethical issue and the correct justificatory reasons for their contrary claims. Second, we argue for a compromise solution in which the reasons for reaching it are not prudential but grounded on the recognition of epistemic peerhood.