I'm confronting a dilemma that I know is a common one: how completely does one need to address the criticisms of a reader or editor? Especially if the work in question has already been accepted?
I have an essay that will be appearing in a collection that I'm beyond excited about, edited by scholars I deeply respect, and who are taking a significant editorial role in assembling the volume (something that I know from my experience in publishing isn't always the case). But although I'm grateful for that involvement and although their feedback on my essay has been both thoughtful and thorough, I strongly disagree with their major criticism.
I understand the basis for their criticism, and I'm prepared to address it by shoring up my case in certain places, moderating my language throughout, and making some claims more speculative or qualified. Ultimately, though, I stand by my argument. I know it's a contestable claim, and one that some people will dislike and/or dispute--but I really believe that it's both compelling and a very plausible reading of the evidence.
But I don't want to offend the editors, who have been wonderfully supportive of my work and whom I like personally. I also respect their judgment and their knowledge of the material in question.
So, what to do?