SOPhiA 2021

Salzburgiense Concilium Omnibus Philosophis Analyticis

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Programme - Talk

An epistemic relativist approach to the Deep Disagreement Paradox
(Epistemology, )

A disagreement can be considered deep when its participants do not agree on what means and criteria should be used to establish a dialogue about the conflict. Investigating this phenomenon, I will introduce the Deep Disagreement Paradox: either we assume that (a) there must be something in common between the epistemic systems of the litigants, which leads us to the hypothesis that there is a hyper system in which both are included; or we assume that (b) there must not be something in common between the systems, which leads us to the hypothesis that the result of a deep disagreement would be a communicative rupture. The consequence of the two alternatives is the same: when there is deep disagreement, there is no deep disagreement at all. If we assume that (a), then there is no deep disagreement, because the two systems are actually parts of a larger system. If we assume that (b), then there is also no deep disagreement, for there would be no communication between the two people. I believe that by using tools offered by epistemic relativism and assuming a pragmatic attitude, it would be possible to assume (b) without this necessarily leading us to a communicational rupture and preventing the very existence of deep disagreement. To sustain this response to the paradox, I will present the scale of continuity between deep and superficial disagreements, obtained by four heterogeneous criteria, namely, complexity, naturalistic, circumstantial and the utility of argumentation criteria. The purpose of this graded scale is to identify different degrees of depth of disagreement. One of my main motivations in developing this approach is to try and find a way to better understand (dis)agreements in general by investigating deep disagreements. I believe that not all deep disagreements are unsolvable by means of rational argumentation, but that doesn't implicate that they cease to be considered deep.

Chair: Simon Graf
Time: 19:30-20:00, 09 September 2021 (Thursday)
Location: HS E.002
Remark: (Online Talk)

Hugo Mota 
(PUC-Rio, )



Testability and Meaning deco