A Game-Theoretic Approach to Peer Disagreement

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Erkenntnis, ISSN: 0165-0106, Vol: 81, Issue: 6, Page: 1345-1368

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http://repository.cmu.edu/philosophy/676; http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/14838; http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/11878
Heesen, Remco; van der Kolk, Pieter
Springer Nature; Springer; Springer (Springer Science+Business Media B.V.)
Arts and Humanities; Mathematics; Peer disagreement; Rationality; Social epistemology; Game theory; Formal epistemology; Philosophy
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article description
In this paper we propose and analyze a game-theoretic model of the epistemology of peer disagreement. In this model, the peers’ rationality is evaluated in terms of their probability of ending the disagreement with a true belief. We find that different strategies—in particular, one based on the Steadfast View and one based on the Conciliatory View—are rational depending on the truth-sensitivity of the individuals involved in the disagreement. Interestingly, the Steadfast and the Conciliatory Views can even be rational simultaneously in some circumstances. We tentatively provide some reasons to favor the Conciliatory View in such cases. We argue that the game-theoretic perspective is a fruitful one in this debate, and this fruitfulness has not been exhausted by the present paper.