Voicing Dissent : The Ethics and Epistemology of Making Disagreement Public book cover
1st Edition

Voicing Dissent
The Ethics and Epistemology of Making Disagreement Public

ISBN 9780367592981
Published August 14, 2020 by Routledge
210 Pages

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Book Description

Disagreement is, for better or worse, pervasive in our society. Not only do we form beliefs that differ from those around us, but increasingly we have platforms and opportunities to voice those disagreements and make them public. In light of the public nature of many of our most important disagreements, a key question emerges: How does public disagreement affect what we know?

This volume collects original essays from a number of prominent scholars—including Catherine Elgin, Sanford Goldberg, Jennifer Lackey, Michael Patrick Lynch, and Duncan Pritchard, among others—to address this question in its diverse forms. The book is organized by thematic sections, in which individual chapters address the epistemic, ethical, and political dimensions of dissent. The individual contributions address important issues such as the value of disagreement, the nature of conversational disagreement, when dissent is epistemically rational, when one is obligated to voice disagreement or to object, the relation of silence and resistance to dissent, and when political dissent is justified. Voicing Dissent offers a new approach to the study of disagreement that will appeal to social epistemologists and ethicists interested in this growing area of epistemology.

Table of Contents

Introduction Casey Rebecca Johnson

1. Reasonable Disagreement Catherine Elgin

2. Disagreements, of Beliefs and Otherwise Duncan Pritchard

3. Dissent: Ethics and Epistemology Sanford Goldberg

4. Dissent: Good, Bad and Reasonable Klemens Kappel

5. Silence and Objecting Jennifer Lackey

6. For the Sake of Argument: The Nature and Extent of Our Obligation to Voice Disagreement Casey Rebecca Johnson

7. Eloquent Silences: Silence and Dissent Alessandra Tanesini

8. Epistemic Arrogance and the Value of Political Dissent Michael Patrick Lynch

9. Emancipatory Political Dissent in Practice: Insights from Social Theory Rachel Ann McKinney

10. Speaking and Listening to Acts of Political Dissent Matthew Chrisman and Graham Hubbs

11. Responding to Harmful Speech: The More Speech Response, Counter Speech, and the Complexity of Language Use Mary Kate McGowan

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Casey Rebecca Johnson is an assistant professor of Philosophy in the Politics and Philosophy Department at the University of Idaho. Prior to joining that department, Dr. Johnson was a post-doctoral fellow on the project on Humility and Conviction in Public Life at the University of Connecticut’s Humanities Institute.


"This is a well-considered and lively collection of essays on the norms bearing on public disagreement. After the fall of 2016, with Brexit having passed in England and Donald Trump elected President of the United States, the question of what role protest and dissent plays in properly run public discourse became a pressing question for many academics. This book, then, is particularly timely . . . Social epistemologists, argumentation theorists, and political philosophers interested in deliberative democracy will find a great deal to appreciate in this volume."Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews