Discussing Disagreement at The Stoa

“The success of a disagreement is not its resolution.” That was part of my answer to one of the questions I was asked during my guest appearance at The Stoa last week.

The Stoa is an online space for discussions about philosophy and various related subjects. They host various types of events. My session included some introductory remarks by me and then discussion prompted by questions from Peter Limberg, the creator of The Stoa and host of the session, and members of the audience, who joined via Zoom from all over.

I was invited on to discuss disagreement and ways of thinking about disagreement that may allow us to get more out of it, and in some ways do it better. The topics touched on include the value of disagreement, understanding controversy, learning from disagreements that go badly, bullshit, epistemic humility, how to structure an environment for better disagreement, whether we should appreciate trolls, and more.

It was a fun evening with good questions, in a pleasant online environment. Many thanks to Peter Limberg for inviting me to do this.

You can watch the session below, and see previous ones on The Stoa‘s YouTube channel. Future events are listed at The Stoa‘s site.


  1. Justin, I just watched that session on The Stoa channel. I appreciated how you repositioned a whole number of things: conflict in conversation, talking to someone with a different capacity, “bullshit”, the sometimes-false pursuit of agreement rather than understanding, even trolling. I think it is complexity not complicated, btw. One powerful insight for me was your reflection that Twitter can be mean in a way that would not happen if people saw someone’s face, and then your question of would there be better discourse if more of our whole selves were somehow brought into it? That we are only partway along a continuum. Thank you – helpful and thought-provoking.

    Liked by 1 person

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