2019 Student Research Conference:
32nd Annual Student Research Conference

Deliberative Account of Social Epistemology: Solving Peer Disagreement With Improved Deliberations 

Morgan L. Van Vleck
Dr. Natalie Alexander, Faculty Mentor

Revealed peer disagreements, disagreements between equally qualified individuals, pose an epistemological issue because when epistemic peers disagree, it seems that one has come to a false conclusion. Solutions to such peer disagreements (Lackey, Feldman) are insufficient as they fail to acknowledge the complexity of deliberations in social contexts because the subjectivity of language and the influence of bias and prejudice pose unrecognized issues for epistemology. I argue that a deliberative epistemology that incorporates rules for equitable deliberations (Habermas) and effort to reach mutual understanding (Richards) will improve epistemological decisions in the context of revealed peer disagreement by acknowledging the complexity of coming to good epistemological solutions in light of the complexity of social structures and subjectivity of meaning. A deliberative epistemology would require the engagement of epistemic peers in deliberations over contested beliefs in order to attempt to produce co-created solutions to garner more objective shared beliefs.                  


Keywords: Revealed Peer Disagreement , Deliberations, Social Structure, Epistemology, Subjectivity, Objectivity, Language

Topic(s):Philosophy & Religion

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 302-1
Location: BH 114
Time: 1:30

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