What Does Morality Require When We Disagree?

In: Journal of Moral Philosophy
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  • 1 Associate Professor, dtu Management Engineering, Technical University of Denmark mamaa@dtu.dk

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In “Principled Compromise and the Abortion Controversy” Simon C. May argues that we do not have a principled moral reason to compromise. While I seek to understand how more precisely we are to understand this suggestion, I also object to it: I argue that we have a principled moral reason to accept democratic decisions that we disagree with, and that this can only be so if disagreement can change what the all things considered right political position is. But if this is so, then also a principled moral reason to compromise is possible. I suggest that there is a class of procedures, including compromise, voting, expert delegation, and coin flip, such that when we disagree about what justice requires, we have a principled moral reason (though not necessarily a decisive reason) to engage in one of these procedures.