Disagreement: Evaluative Diversity And Moral Realism

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This paper will attempt to summarize and explain the essay How to Argue about Disagreement: Evaluative Diversity and Moral Realism by John M. Doris and Alexandra Plakias. They claim that moral realism has a problem with its assertion that all disagreement is superficial, and would not persist under ideal conditions. They cite an experiment by Nisbett and Cohen in 1996 where there seems to be a fundamental disagreement between northern and southern white American men surrounding acceptable violence. Moral realism is the philosophical idea that morality is based in objective fact. It fallows from this starting point that there are objective moral facts which we have access to via our reason, that under ideal conditions will lead us toward indisputable moral truth. If there are indisputable moral facts then it is reasonable to think that when people disagree, at least one person must be wrong about relevant moral facts, or they aren’t properly using their reason. This seems to conflict with our experience of the world around us, wherein many people disagree about morality on a regular basis, and for prolonged periods of time. Still the moral realist holds that these disagreements aren’t fundamental, and are instead superficial disagreements. Realists make the distinction between fundamental and superficial moral disagreements because people are easily confused about what constitutes a true disagreement. A disagreement is a fundamental moral disagreement if and only if the disagreement would not go away…show more content…
They claimed that the southern honor culture exhibited by white male southerners the existence of which is supported in these studies by Nisbett and Cohen is a counterexample against moral realism because there does not seem to be a diffusing explanation to explain why southerners would believe the ways they do in direct opposition to their northern

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