Perspectival Disagreement

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A phenomenon called perspectival disagreement is laid out and modelled on the basis of modifications to known consensus measures for qualitative representations of preferences and transitive values by binary relations. Cases of perspectival disagreement are of general philosophical interest, because they allow for the possibility that two or more agents judge the value positions of other agents differently even when their assessments are based on the same evidence. Various examples of perspectival disagreement are given, generalizations are discussed, and it is argued that any representation by cardinal utilities also gives rise to some form of perspectivity. Although the examples strongly suggest that this phenomenon occurs in real life, it is concluded in the end that it does not pose any fundamental threat to representations of preferences and values as binary relations. Instead, position-sensitive measures of disagreement ought to be taken as a modelling option for cases in which the relative importance of preference changes matters to an agent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)120-139
Number of pages20
JournalTheoria (Sweden)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018


  • consensus measures
  • perspectivity
  • positional distance measures
  • preferences
  • utility theory


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