Volume 1, Issue 1, 2014
Some Problems With Steadfast Strategies for Rational Disagreement
Current responses to the question of how one should adjust one's beliefs in response to peer disagreement have, in general, formed a spectrum at one end of which sit the so-called ‘conciliatory’ views and whose other end is occupied by the ‘steadfast’ views. While the conciliatory views of disagreement maintain that one is required to make doxastic conciliation when faced with an epistemic peer who holds a different stance on a particular subject, the steadfast views allow us to maintain our confidence in our relevant beliefs. My aim in this paper is not to adjudicate between these views. Rather, I shall focus on a particular strategy, namely, denying the appearance of epistemic symmetry between peers, that the steadfast views standardly invoke in support of their position. Having closely examined certain representative examples of the steadfast approach, I will argue that this strategy is fundamentally flawed.