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Deep Disagreements - International Conference

Paul Boghossian (NYU), Geert Keil (HU Berlin), Ralf Poscher (Uni Freiburg)

Friday, 6 October 2017 at 09:30 - Saturday, 7 October 2017 at 18:30 (EDT)

Deep Disagreements - International Conference

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General Admission 6 Oct 2017 Free  

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People are frequently at odds over issues that equally concern them. Many disagreements that are central to political, social, ideological or religious conflicts are deep in the sense that they can neither be resolved through a compelling argument nor by gathering further infor­mation, nor do they arise from readily discernible misunderstandings.

The phenomenon of deep disagreement raises issues for many areas, especially within phi­lo­s­ophy and law. Deep disagreements often have an extremely complex structure, in which different sources of dis­agreement intersect and in which it is difficult to trace the real source of dissent.

Epistemological aspects of disagreements have been tackled in philosophical debate sur­rounding peer disagreement, which focuses on the question of wheth­er or not it is rational to stick to one’s opinion if someone of equal competence and well-informedness holds a contrary one.

In legal theory, the debate about the right answer thesis centers around the question whether all legal disputes have a single right answer. If we do not presuppose a right answer, Ronald Dworkin’s famous argument of the semantic sting seems to force us into an implausi­ble con­clusion: that disagreements in law are merely based on linguistic misunderstandings and that it cannot be explained what we argue about in law.

One advantage of focusing on legal disagreements in so-called hard cases is that these come with built-in social significance. Supreme Court split verdicts are of particular interest: There is much at stake, they are based on elaborate argumentation, and they constitute disagreements among peers.

This international conference aims to bring together philosophers and legal scholars to discuss those philosophical and legal debates, to systematically apply them to deep disagreements, and to test them in socially relevant fields of application. It is one of the two final conferences of the Deep Disagreements project (

Do you have questions about Deep Disagreements - International Conference? Contact Paul Boghossian (NYU), Geert Keil (HU Berlin), Ralf Poscher (Uni Freiburg)

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    When & Where

    New York
    5 Washington Place
    Room 202
    New York, NY

    Friday, 6 October 2017 at 09:30 - Saturday, 7 October 2017 at 18:30 (EDT)

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    Paul Boghossian (NYU), Geert Keil (HU Berlin), Ralf Poscher (Uni Freiburg)

    This event is jointly organized by the NYU Department of Philosophy, the Humboldt University Berlin and the University of Freiburg. It is sponsored by the Volkswagen Foundation.

    Attendance is free, but places are limited. Please register.

    If you have any questions, contact Amy Moore (

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    Deep Disagreements - International Conference
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