David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Synthese 190 (8):1437-1454 (2013)
According to the Argument from Disagreement (AD) widespread and persistent disagreement on ethical issues indicates that our moral opinions are not influenced by moral facts, either because there are no such facts or because there are such facts but they fail to influence our moral opinions. In an innovative paper, Gustafsson and Peterson (Synthese, published online 16 October, 2010) study the argument by means of computer simulation of opinion dynamics, relying on the well-known model of Hegselmann and Krause (J Artif Soc Soc Simul 5(3):1–33, 2002; J Artif Soc Soc Simul 9(3):1–28, 2006). Their simulations indicate that if our moral opinions were influenced at least slightly by moral facts, we would quickly have reached consensus, even if our moral opinions were also affected by additional factors such as false authorities, external political shifts and random processes. Gustafsson and Peterson conclude that since no such consensus has been reached in real life, the simulation gives us increased reason to take seriously the AD. Our main claim in this paper is that these results are not as robust as Gustafsson and Peterson seem to think they are. If we run similar simulations in the alternative Laputa simulation environment developed by Angere and Olsson (Angere, Synthese, forthcoming and Olsson, Episteme 8(2):127–143, 2011) considerably less support for the AD is forthcoming
|Keywords||Argument from Disagreement Computer simulation Formal epistemology Bayesianism Probability Trust|
|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
Russ Shafer-Landau (2003/2005). Moral Realism: A Defence. Oxford University Press.
David Owen Brink (1989). Moral Realism and the Foundations of Ethics. Cambridge University Press.
Richard Boyd (1988). How to Be a Moral Realist. In G. Sayre-McCord (ed.), Essays on Moral Realism. Cornell University Press 181-228.
Erik J. Olsson (2011). A Simulation Approach to Veritistic Social Epistemology. Episteme 8 (2):127-143.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Johan E. Gustafsson & Martin Peterson (2012). A Computer Simulation of the Argument From Disagreement. Synthese 184 (3):387–405.
Claus Beisbart (2012). How Can Computer Simulations Produce New Knowledge? European Journal for Philosophy of Science 2 (3):395-434.
Matthew W. Parker (2009). Computing the Uncomputable; or, the Discrete Charm of Second-Order Simulacra. Synthese 169 (3):447 - 463.
Sarah McGrath (2007). Moral Disagreement and Moral Expertise. In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics Vol. 4. Oxford University Press 87-108.
Wendy S. Parker (2009). Does Matter Really Matter? Computer Simulations, Experiments, and Materiality. Synthese 169 (3):483 - 496.
By Nick Bostrom (2003). Are We Living in a Computer Simulation? Philosophical Quarterly 53 (211):243–255.
Johannes Lenhard (2007). Computer Simulation: The Cooperation Between Experimenting and Modeling. Philosophy of Science 74 (2):176-194.
Folke Tersman (2014). Disagreement: Ethics and Elsewhere. Erkenntnis 79 (1):55-72.
Ulrich Krohs (2008). How Digital Computer Simulations Explain Real-World Processes. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 22 (3):277 – 292.
Axel Gelfert (2011). Scientific Models, Simulation, and the Experimenter's Regress. In Paul Humphreys & Cyrille Imbert (eds.), Models, Simulations, and Representations. Routledge
Wendy S. Parker (2008). Computer Simulation Through an Error-Statistical Lens. Synthese 163 (3):371 - 384.
Franck Varenne (2009). Models and Simulations in the Historical Emergence of the Science of Complexity. In Ma Aziz-Alaoui & C. Bertelle (eds.), From System Complexity to Emergent Properties. Springer 3--21.
David Killoren (2010). Moral Intuitions, Reliability and Disagreement. Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 4 (1):1-35.
Added to index2012-05-04
Total downloads68 ( #59,196 of 1,789,800 )
Recent downloads (6 months)5 ( #166,719 of 1,789,800 )
How can I increase my downloads?