David Killoren
Australian Catholic University
There is an ancient, yet still lively, debate in moral epistemology about the epistemic significance of disagreement. One of the important questions in that debate is whether, and to what extent, the prevalence and persistence of disagreement between our moral intuitions causes problems for those who seek to rely on intuitions in order to make moral decisions, issue moral judgments, and craft moral theories. Meanwhile, in general epistemology, there is a relatively young, and very lively, debate about the epistemic significance of disagreement. A central question in that debate concerns peer disagreement: When I am confronted with an epistemic peer with whom I disagree, how should my confidence in my beliefs change (if at all)? The disagreement debate in moral epistemology has not been brought into much contact with the disagreement debate in general epistemology (though McGrath [2007] is an important exception). A purpose of this paper is to increase the area of contact between these two debates. In Section 1, I try to clarify the question I want to ask in this paper – this is the question whether we have any reasons to believe what I shall call “anti-intuitivism.” In Section 2, I argue that anti-intuitivism cannot be supported solely by investigating the mechanisms that produce our intuitions. In Section 3, I discuss an anti-intuitivist argument from disagreement which relies on the so-called “Equal Weight View.” In Section 4, I pause to clarify the notion of epistemic parity and to explain how it ought to be understood in the epistemology of moral intuition. In Section 5, I return to the anti-intuitivist argument from disagreement and explain how an apparently-vulnerable premise of that argument may be quite resilient. In Section 6, I introduce a novel objection against the Equal Weight View in order to show how I think we can successfully resist the anti-intuitivist argument from disagreement.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2010, 2019
DOI 10.26556/jesp.v4i1.39
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 68,916
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Epistemology of Disagreement: The Good News.David Christensen - 2007 - Philosophical Review 116 (2):187-217.
A Darwinian Dilemma for Realist Theories of Value.Sharon Street - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 127 (1):109-166.
Reflection and Disagreement.Adam Elga - 2007 - Noûs 41 (3):478–502.
Ethical Intuitionism.Michael Huemer - 2005 - Palgrave Macmillan.

View all 28 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The Epistemology of Moral Disagreement.Richard Rowland - 2017 - Philosophy Compass 12 (2):1-16.
A Moral Argument for Substance Dualism.Gerald K. Harrison - 2016 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association (1):21--35.
Profiting From Poverty.Ole Koksvik & Gerhard Øverland - 2019 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (3):341-367.

View all 10 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Moral Disagreement and Moral Expertise.Sarah McGrath - 2008 - In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics: Volume 4. Oxford University Press. pp. 87-108.
No Deep Disagreement for New Relativists.Ragnar Francén - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 151 (1):19--37.
The Moral Evil Demons.Ralph Wedgwood - 2010 - In Richard Feldman & Ted A. Warfield (eds.), Disagreement. Oxford University Press.


Added to PP index

Total views
203 ( #55,861 of 2,497,789 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
6 ( #118,641 of 2,497,789 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes