On the rational resolution of (deep) disagreements

Eugen Octav Popa*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)
    18 Downloads (Pure)


    Disagreements come in all shapes and sizes, but epistemologists and argumentation theorists have singled out a special category referred to as deep disagreements. These deep disagreements are thought to pose philosophical and practical difficulties pertaining to their rational resolution. In this paper, I start with a critique of the widespread claim that deep disagreements are qualitatively different from normal disagreements because they arise from a difference in ‘fundamental principles’ or ‘hinge commitments.’ I then defend the following two claims: (1) All disagreements are deep to the extent that they are actual disagreements. This first claim implies, I will argue, that disagreements typically regarded as normal (‘shallow’) can be explained away as misunderstandings or communicative mishaps. (2) The resolution of a disagreement can be rational either through a joint experience of mutually recognized facts or through an exchange of arguments that leads to a reformulation of the disagreement that, in this new form, lends itself to a resolution through a joint experience of mutually recognized facts. I conclude with a reflection on the consequences of these two theses for the idea of deep disagreement and that of rational resolution.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number270
    Issue number4
    Early online date23 Jun 2022
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022


    • Argumentation
    • Deep disagreements
    • Fundamental epistemic principles
    • Joint experience of facts
    • Rational resolution
    • UT-Hybrid-D


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