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A Game-Theoretic Approach to Peer Disagreement

Heesen, Remco and van der Kolk, Pieter (2016) A Game-Theoretic Approach to Peer Disagreement. Erkenntnis. ISSN 0165-0106

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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.

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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
van der Kolk,
Additional Information: This paper is published in Erkenntnis under open access. Please cite from the official published version rather than the attached PDF.
Keywords: Peer disagreement; Rationality; Social epistemology; Game theory; Formal epistemology
Subjects: General Issues > Decision Theory
Depositing User: Remco Heesen
Date Deposited: 22 Jan 2016 15:34
Last Modified: 22 Jan 2016 15:34
Item ID: 11878
Journal or Publication Title: Erkenntnis
Publisher: Springer (Springer Science+Business Media B.V.)
Official URL:
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1007/s10670-015-9800-8
Subjects: General Issues > Decision Theory
Date: 19 January 2016
ISSN: 0165-0106

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