Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
A computer simulation of the argument from disagreement
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, Philosophy.
2012 (English)In: Synthese, ISSN 0039-7857, E-ISSN 1573-0964, Vol. 184, no 3, 387-405 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

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).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 184, no 3, 387-405 p.
Keyword [en]
Hegselmann-Krause, Disagreement, Simulation, Meta-ethics, Moral realism, Opinion dynamics
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-75519DOI: 10.1007/s11229-010-9822-3ISI: 000298756400011ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84855336248OAI: diva2:491663
QC 20120207Available from: 2012-02-07 Created: 2012-02-06 Last updated: 2012-02-07Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

Publisher's full textScopus

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Gustafsson, Johan E.
By organisation
In the same journal

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Altmetric score

Total: 20 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link