Simon Fraser University
“Why Two (or more) Belief-Dependent Peers are Better Than One”
1:00-3:00 PM, Room 202
NYU Philosophy Department
5 Washington Place, NYC
Joint NYU Department Tea & SWIP-Analytic Reception to Follow
**Attendees are encouraged to read the prize-winning paper in advance of the presentation. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain a copy of the paper.**
ABSTRACT: The following principle is widely assumed in the literature surrounding the epistemology of peer disagreement: When S disagrees with a group of epistemic peers P1, P2, P3. . . Pn concerning the truth of p, if S has already taken into account the dissent of P1, then S’s disagreement with P2, P3. . . Pn does not need to be accounted for if the beliefs of these subsequent dissenters are not independent of P1’s belief that p. Hence, S can be rationally excused from considering these subsequent dissenters. I call this assumption ‘Belief-Dependence Excusal’ and argue that it is false. This is because the epistemic perspective of a peer can itself be evidentially significant irrespective of whether or not her beliefs are independent of other dissenters that I have already rationally accounted for. I focus on testimonial belief-dependence as it applies to a group of dissenters whose beliefs are all (at least partly) justified by the same report.
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SWIP-Analytic is a branch of the New York Society for Women in Philosophy dedicated to providing a forum for women in the New York area working on language, mind, metaphysics, logic, ethics, epistemology, and philosophy of science. It strives to continue NYSWIP’s commitment to being resource for all women in philosophy in the New York area.