Philosophical diversity and disagreement

Bob Plant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Widespread and lasting consensus has not been philosophy's fate. Indeed, one of philosophy's most striking features is its ability to accommodate “not only different answers to philosophical questions” but also “total disagreement on what questions are philosophical” (Rorty 1995, 58). It is therefore hardly surprising that philosophers' responses to this metaphilosophical predicament have been similarly varied. This article considers two recent diagnoses of philosophical diversity: Kornblith and Rescher (respectively) claim that taking philosophical disagreement seriously does not lead to metaphilosophical scepticism. The article argues that their confidence is misplaced in so far as both wrongly assume that ordinary, first-order philosophical practice and second-order metaphilosophical reflection are separate enterprises.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)567-591
Number of pages25
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012


  • modesty
  • pluralism
  • disagreement
  • epistemic peers
  • metaphilosophy


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