November 17: Kirk Lougheed (McMaster University)
3:30 to 5:00 pm in DSB/B107
“Disagreement, Deep Time, and Progress in Philosophy”
Abstract: The recent literature in the epistemology of disagreement examines the question of how one ought to respond to awareness of epistemic peer disagreement about her belief that P. There is an ever-growing body of literature on this topic that, ironically enough, represents widespread disagreement about how we should respond to disagreement. I will use the epistemology of disagreement to help address the question of whether there is any progress in philosophy. I argue that the widespread disagreement throughout the history of philosophy, and right up until the present day indicates that philosophers are highly unreliable at arriving at the truth. If truth convergence indicates progress in a field, then there is little progress in philosophy. I conclude that this need not make us give up philosophizing: That we are poor philosophers is a contingent, rather than necessary fact about the human species. Perhaps given the existence of deep time there will eventually will be truth convergence in philosophy.
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