The Epistemology of Disagreement

Disagreement is prevalent across all areas of life, and workplace disagreements can sometimes be especially heated. But what’s the right response to such divisive disagreements? Drawing on the recent philosophical field called the epistemology of disagreement as well as well-accepted agile practices, I’ll provide a flexible framework for handling disagreements. On my view, our positions in debates should be updated incrementally, and a disagreement provides a worthwhile opportunity to update our beliefs in a socially-considerate way . Given this framework, I’ll argue that we ought to be conciliatory in disagreements rather than doubling down on our own positions. Rethinking the natural way to approach disagreement not only makes us more likely to arrive at the best decision in important matters, it also makes us better partners and teammates. While I don’t advocate for blind agreement with others, I do propose getting a better handle on our own limits when considering questions in technical fields; better self-understanding leads to understanding others better, too.