Catarina Dutilh Novaes reviews Timothy Williamson’s book: an investigation of the merits and limits of rational debate.
Disagreement in debates and discussions is an interesting phenomenon. On the one hand, having to justify one’s views to those who disagree is perhaps one of the best ways to induce a critical re-evaluation of these views. On the other hand, it is far from clear that a clash of opinions will eventually lead to a consensus in which the parties come to hold better views than the ones they held before. This is one of the promises of rational discourse, but one that is all too often not delivered. What to do in situations of discursive deadlock?