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III—Faultless Disagreement

Max Kölbel
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.0066-7373.2004.00081.x 53-73 First published online: 1 June 2004

Abstract

There seem to be topics on which people can disagree without fault. For example, you and I might disagree on whether Picasso was a better artist than Matisse, without either of us being at fault. Is this a genuine possibility or just apparent? In this paper I pursue two aims: I want to provide a systematic map of available responses to this question. Simultaneously, I want to assess these responses. I start by introducing and defining the notion of a faultless disagreement. Then I present a simple argument to the conclusion that faultless disagreement is not possible. Those who accept the argument have to explain away apparent cases of faultless disagreement. Those who want to maintain the possibility of faultless disagreement must deny one of the argument's premisses. The position I want to promote belongs to the latter category and is a form of genuine relativism.

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