Epistemic Peer Disagreement
Disagreement with epistemologists’ peer provides new evidence that significantly modifies their epistemic situation compared to their pre-disagreement situation. According to the total evidence view the body of total evidence determines what response is epistemically rational in the face of recognized peer disagreement. According to the justificationist view, what counts as epistemically rational responses in the face of recognized peer disagreement is determined by the subjects’ degree of justified confidence and, in some cases, certain kinds of information. The first criticism puts pressure on the commitment to treat as epistemically irrelevant one’s original evidence, once the disagreement with a peer comes to light. Non-conformist views seem to seriously downplay the epistemic significance of the presence of disagreement which is clearly a weakness of the view especially in those cases where both disputants regard each other as epistemic peers. Differences between views on peer disagreement may well reflect—or be traceable to—differences in terms of broader epistemological commitments.