SOPhiA 2018

Salzburgiense Concilium Omnibus Philosophis Analyticis

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Programme - Talk

Faulty Attitudes and Disagreement
(Epistemology, English)

A 'faultless disagreement' is a disagreement between at least two parties where neither party has made a mistake or is at fault. These types of disagreements are usually thought to amount to conflicting beliefs. Relativists like Kölbel (2004) have tried to argue that they can make sense of faultless disagreements by relativizing the truth-value of propositions to the perspectives of the disputants. Thus, they claim to be able to capture the idea that the disputants in question have a genuine disagreement whether p or not-p, as well as, at the same time not being at fault since both p and not-p can be true from their respective perspectives. Torfinn Huvenes (2014) have argued that one does not have to take refuge in relativism to make sense of faultless disagreement. He does this by claiming that disagreements sometimes involve 'non-doxastic attitudes' e.g. desires, preferences, likings etc. Furthermore, he claims that the mere fact that two parties have conflicting non-doxastic attitudes does not entail that anyone is making a mistake.
In this paper I argue against Huvenes' position by way of showing that there are good reasons to accept that non-doxastic attitudes can be appropriate or inappropriate in light of some evaluative property of the object of the attitude in question. Thus, if agent A has a non-doxastic attitude vis-a-vis an object x which is in fact inappropriate to have, then A will be at fault, in some sense at least. If agent B on the other hand has an appropriate non-doxastic attitude to the very same object as A, then A and B will be in a state of disagreement insofar as they have conflicting attitudes. However, it seems incorrect to hold that A is not at fault when having the attitude towards x as well as B not being at fault when having a conflicting attitude vis-a-vis the same object x. Clearly, A must be at fault here if there is some evaluative property in light of which A's attitude is inappropriate. Hence, if there is some attitude which is appropriate to have in light of some evaluative property of the object of the attitude, then the appropriateness of that attitude should exclude the appropriateness of the conflicting attitude. Consequently, the position held by Huvenes -- I argue -- can only secure disagreement at the expense of faultlessness.

Kölbel, M. (2004). Faultless Disagreement. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 104, 53-73.
Huvenes, T. (2014). Disagreement Without Error. Erkenntnis, 79, 143-154.

Chair: Christian Feldbacher-Escamilla
Time: 10:40-11:10, 13 September 2018 (Thursday)
Location: SR 1.004

Robert Pal 
(Lund University , Sweden)

My name is Robert Pal and I am currently writing my master thesis at Lund University in Sweden under the supervision of professor Toni Rannow-Rasmussen. I have a bachelor's degree in practical philosophy from Lund University. This abstract is taken (and adjusted) from a paper I wrote in an advanced course at Ume - University in Sweden. The course was about ''disagreement''. The paper was examined by Torfinn Huvenes whose position I argue against. I have also taken some advanced courses at Ume - University and a course in Continental Philosophy at Södertörns Högskola in Sweden. My main area of interest is philosophy of emotions and attitudes and value theory.

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