Philosophical Studies

, Volume 170, Issue 3, pp 377–394 | Cite as

Disagreement behind the veil of ignorance

  • Ryan MuldoonEmail author
  • Chiara Lisciandra
  • Mark Colyvan
  • Carlo Martini
  • Giacomo Sillari
  • Jan Sprenger


In this paper we argue that there is a kind of moral disagreement that survives the Rawlsian veil of ignorance. While a veil of ignorance eliminates sources of disagreement stemming from self-interest, it does not do anything to eliminate deeper sources of disagreement. These disagreements not only persist, but transform their structure once behind the veil of ignorance. We consider formal frameworks for exploring these differences in structure between interested and disinterested disagreement, and argue that consensus models offer us a solution concept for disagreements behind the veil of ignorance.


Rawls Veil of ignorance Disagreement Consensus modeling Bargaining 



The authors wish to thank Samuel Freeman, Douglas Paletta, Gerald Gaus, and the audience of the Conference ‘New Directions in the Philosophy of Science’ held at the Bertinoro Conference Centre (University of Bologna) for their useful comments on earlier versions of the manuscript. The usual exculpations apply. Part of this work was funded by a Dutch Science Foundation Internationalisation Grant.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ryan Muldoon
    • 1
    Email author
  • Chiara Lisciandra
    • 2
  • Mark Colyvan
    • 3
  • Carlo Martini
    • 2
  • Giacomo Sillari
    • 4
  • Jan Sprenger
    • 5
  1. 1.Philosophy, Politics and Economics ProgramUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Political and Economic Studies, Finnish Centre of Excellence in the Philosophy of the Social SciencesUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  3. 3.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia
  4. 4.Department of Political ScienceLUISS Guido CarliRomeItaly
  5. 5.Tilburg Center for Logic, General Ethics and Philosophy of ScienceTilburg UniversityTilburgThe Netherlands

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