Speaker: Simon Kirchin, University of Kent

Titel:  "Concepts, Conceptions and the Epistemology of Disagreement" (the paper is co-authored with Steve Pethick)

Abstract: In this co-written paper we reflect on the recent debate concerning the epistemology of disagreement. Whilst finding many ideas in this debate interesting, we argue that the nature of the debate has been partial, with most attention paid only to a particular type of disagreement in mapping the dimensions of the wider phenomenon. Our attention to other types of disagreement indicates some ways in which the philosophical debate might be extended. But in so doing we also aim to open an enquiry into the starting points of the present debate, in which there has been little concern to reflect upon the nature of disagreement itself. In keeping with our claims, we note that a literature concerning the epistemology of disagreement already exists that has received no reference at all in the recent discussion labelled as ‘the epistemology of disagreement’. This literature stems from W.B. Gallie’s notion of an ‘essentially contested concept’. We argue that it should be made central to the discussion.