Inclusiveness in the face of anticipated disagreement

Sanford C. Goldberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

This paper discusses the epistemic outcomes of following a belief-forming policy of inclusiveness under conditions in which one anticipates systematic disagreement with one’s interlocutors. These cases highlight the possibility of distinctly epistemic costs of inclusiveness, in the form of lost knowledge of or a diminishment in one’s rational confidence in a proposition. It is somewhat controversial whether following a policy of inclusiveness under such circumstances will have such costs; this will depend in part on the correct account of the epistemic significance of disagreement (a topic over which there is some disagreement). After discussing this matter at some length, I conclude, tentatively, that inclusiveness under disagreement can have such epistemic costs. Still, I go on to argue, such costs by themselves would not rationalize substantial limitations on a broad policy of inclusiveness. Insofar as there are grounds for restricting how inclusive one should be in belief-formation, these grounds will not be epistemic, but instead will reflect the practical costs—the time, effort, and resource costs to the subject—of following such a policy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1189-1207
Number of pages19
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - May 2013

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Epistemology of disagreement
  • Inclusiveness
  • Higher-order evidence


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