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Volume 46 • Number 4

October 2009



Uniqueness Revisited

by Igor Douven

Various authors have recently argued that you cannot rationally stick to your belief in the face of known disagreement with an epistemic peer, that is, a person you take to have the same (relevant) evidence and judgmental skills as you do. For, they claim, because there is but one rational response to any body of evidence, a disagreement with an epistemic peer indicates that at least one of you is not responding rationally to the evidence. Given that you take your peer to have the same judgmental skills as you do, and thus regard her to be equally good at assessing the (shared) evidence as you are, you will have as much reason for thinking that it is you who is not responding rationally to the evidence as for thinking that it is her. You thus have reason for thinking that your belief on the disputed matter is not a rational response to the evidence. Hence, you cannot rationally stick to your belief.

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ISSN: 2152-1123