When should we disagree about politics?

Jennifer Lackey*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


This chapter explores when we should, from an epistemic point of view, disagree about politics by asking the question: when do we have the epistemic duty to object to assertions we take to be false or unwarranted? It begins by highlighting that the duty to object is best understood as an imperfect, rather than a perfect, duty, and hence that there are imperfect epistemic duties, in addition to moral ones. The chapter examines one specific account of imperfect moral duties: Liam Murphy’s collective view that includes what he calls the Compliance Condition that understands imperfect duties as belonging to groups or collectives, but denies that we need to “pick up the slack” from non-complying members. After showing that we should reject the Compliance Condition, the chapter outlines a view according to which the duty to object is an imperfect epistemic one that belongs to groups. It concludes by applying these considerations specifically to the political domain and highlighting the ways in which distinctive issues arise when we disagree about political matters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPolitical Epistemology
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9780192893338
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021


  • Collective duty
  • Compliance condition
  • Duty to object
  • Epistemic duty
  • Imperfect duty
  • Political disagreement
  • Political epistemology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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