Agreement and Disagreement Conference

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Agreement and Disagreement Conference

25th-27th October 2021, University of Kent, Canterbury

Agreement and Disagreement Beyond Ethics and Epistemology Conference

Hosted by the Centre for Practical Philosophy and the Centre for Reasoning
Generously funded by the Mind Association and the Aristotelian Society
Organised by Joel Yalland (University of Kent)

Disagreement is a phenomenon that has received much coverage and discussion within epistemology, ethics, and other areas of normativity. Much of the recent work has focused on the notions of epistemic peerage and our response to disagreements between epistemic peers, but also on disagreement as a justification for various skeptical, anti-realist, or nihilist views.

Consequently, the going consensus appears to be that disagreement is largely problematic in various ways, and deserves hostile treatment and a direct means of resolution in many real-life cases. However, this is offset by the fact that, in many domains, disagreements are deep and complex, often will little indication of a desire to concede or compromise.

In addition, there has been far less consideration to matters such as what disagreement involves (if anything) by way of necessary and sufficient conditions, what motivates our desire to resolve disagreement overall and individual instances, or even how agreement and disagreement relate to other matters within epistemology such as testimony, epistemic virtue, and luck.

Perhaps most notably and worryingly, literature on the phenomenon of agreement is considerably rarer than that on disagreement. Perhaps this can be attributed to implicit assumptions about the nature or structure of disagreements; that each of the various ways we can in principle disagree, can be encompassed under some specific idea, definition, or case. This seems mistaken at best, and dangerous at worst.

This conference is intended to draw on existing research within philosophy, broaden the scope of current discourse, and to establish some foundational discussions about what constitutes agreement and disagreement, and whether agreement deserves further philosophical consideration.

The structure of the conference will be a mix of plenary sessions from invited speakers, as listed below, and parallel sessions involving submitted papers. In light of the ongoing circumstances the conference will be conducted online.

However, there will be an in-person attendance option on Day Two for speakers and delegates who wish to visit Canterbury and attend open-session talks and dinner. Pre-booking is required for the dinner, no later than the 18th of October.

Unfortunately, the conference organisers are not in a position to subsidise in-person visits so this will have to be at the individual's own expense.

Any enquiries to be directed to