David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Synthese 184 (3):387–405 (2012)
In this paper we shed new light on the Argument from Disagreement by putting it to test in a computer simulation. According to this argument widespread and persistent disagreement on ethical issues indicates that our moral opinions are not influenced by any moral facts, either because no such facts exist or because they are epistemically inaccessible or inefficacious for some other reason. Our simulation shows that if our moral opinions were influenced at least a little bit by moral facts, we would quickly have reached consensus, even if our moral opinions were affected by factors such as false authorities, external political shifts, and random processes. Therefore, since no such consensus has been reached, the simulation gives us increased reason to take seriously the Argument from Disagreement. Our conclusion is however not conclusive; the simulation also indicates what assumptions one has to make in order to reject the Argument from Disagreement. The simulation algorithm we use builds on the work of Hegselmann and Krause (J Artif Soc Social Simul 5(3); 2002, J Artif Soc Social Simul 9(3), 2006)
|Keywords||Hegselmann–Krause Disagreement Simulation Meta-ethics Moral realism Opinion dynamics|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Richard Boyd (1988). How to Be a Moral Realist. In G. Sayre-McCord (ed.), Essays on Moral Realism. Cornell University Press. 181-228.
Nicolai Hartmann (1967). Ethics. New York, Humanities Press.
Russ Shafer-Landau (2003/2005). Moral Realism: A Defence. Oxford University Press.
Folke Tersman (2006). Moral Disagreement. Cambridge University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Aron Vallinder & Erik J. Olsson (2013). Do Computer Simulations Support the Argument From Disagreement? Synthese 190 (8):1437-1454.
Ulrich Krause & Rainer Hegselmann (2009). Deliberative Exchange, Truth, and Cognitive Division of Labour: A Low-Resolution Modeling Approach. Episteme 6 (2):130-144.
Similar books and articles
Jordi Fernández (2003). Explanation by Computer Simulation in Cognitive Science. Minds and Machines 13 (2):269-284.
Nick Bostrom (2011). A Patch for the Simulation Argument. Analysis 71 (1):54 - 61.
Wendy S. Parker (2008). Computer Simulation Through an Error-Statistical Lens. Synthese 163 (3):371 - 384.
Margaret Morrison (2009). Models, Measurement and Computer Simulation: The Changing Face of Experimentation. Philosophical Studies 143 (1):33 - 57.
Mr István A. Aranyosi, The Doomsday Simulation Argument. Or Why Isn't the End Nigh, and You're Not Living in a Simulation.
Matthew W. Parker (2009). Computing the Uncomputable; or, the Discrete Charm of Second-Order Simulacra. Synthese 169 (3):447 - 463.
Stephen P. Stich & Shaun Nichols (1995). Second Thoughts on Simulation. In Martin Davies & Tony Stone (eds.), Mental Simulation. Blackwell.
Sarah McGrath (2007). Moral Disagreement and Moral Expertise. In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics Vol. 4. Oxford University Press. 87-108.
Added to index2010-05-08
Total downloads71 ( #20,386 of 1,102,949 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #297,435 of 1,102,949 )
How can I increase my downloads?