Alethic pluralism, deflationism, and faultless disagreement


Wright C (2021) Alethic pluralism, deflationism, and faultless disagreement. Metaphilosophy, 52 (3-4), pp. 432- 448.

One of the most important “folk” anti-realist thoughts about certain areas of our thought and discourse—basic taste, for instance, or comedy—is that their lack of objectivity crystallises in the possibility of “faultless disagreements”: situations where one party accepts P, another rejects P, and neither is guilty of any kind of mistake of substance or shortcoming of cognitive process. On close inspection, however, it proves challenging to make coherent sense of this idea, and a majority of theorists have come to reject it as incoherent. There are two significant exceptions in the contemporary literature: relativists often hold it up as something of a coup for their view that it can make straightforward sense of faultless disagreement; and the author of this paper has argued (Wright 2006) that making judicious intuitionistic revisions to classical logic can provide resources that suffice to stabilise the notion. The present paper argues that neither relativism nor intuitionism in fact provides a satisfactory account and indicates how an alethic pluralist framework enables us to do better.

faultless disagreement; relativism; the simple deduction; intuitionism; alethic pluralism; deflationism

Metaphilosophy: Volume 52, Issue 3-4

Publication date31/12/2021
Publication date online31/08/2021
Date accepted by journal16/05/2021