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Religious Belief and the Epistemology of Disagreement



Consider two people who disagree about some important claim (e.g. the future moral and political consequences of current U.S. economic policy are X). They each believe the other person is in possession of relevant evidence, is roughly equally competent to evaluate that evidence, etc. From the epistemic point of view, how should such recognized disagreement affect their doxastic attitude toward the original claim? Recent research on the epistemology of disagreement has converged upon three general ways of answering this question. The focus of this article is twofold: first, we summarize and give a brief evaluation of the main accounts of the epistemic significance of disagreement; then, we look at what these accounts suggest about how to epistemically assess both inter-religious and intra-religious disagreements. A final section offers recommendations for further research.