« Go back to:
Article: Deep Disagreement (Part 2): Epistemology of Deep Disagreement
Author(s): Chris Ranalli & Thirza Lagewaard
This paper by Chris Ranalli and Thirza Lagewaard was published in Philosophy Compass, Volume 17, issue 12 in October 2022.
What is the epistemological significance of deep disagreement? Part I explored the nature of deep disagreement, while Part II considers its epistemological significance. It focuses on two core problems: the incommensurability and the rational resolvability problems. We critically survey key responses to these challenges, before raising worries for a variety of responses to them, including skeptical, relativist, and absolutist responses to the incommensurability problem, and to certain steadfast and conciliatory responses to the rational resolvability problem. We then pivot to the ethical and political dimensions of deep disagreement. We focus on whether an unwillingness to engage with positions one considers to be immoral or repugnant might be good, and conclude with some reflections on the moral risks of engagement.