Organon F

Volume 30, August 2023, Issue 3, Pages 255–277

ISSN 2585-7150 (online) ISSN 1335-0668 (print)

Research Article

Does Deep Moral Disagreement Exist in Real Life?

Serhiy Kiš


The existence of deep moral disagreement is used in support of views ranging from moral relativism to the impossibility of moral expertise. This is done despite the fact that it is not at all clear whether deep moral disagreements actually occur, as the usually given examples are never of real life situations, but of some generalized debates on controversial issues. The paper will try to remedy this, as any strength of arguments appealing to deep moral disagreement is partly depended on the fact the disagreement exists. This will be done by showing that some real life conflicts that are intractable, i.e. notoriously difficult to resolve, share some important features with deep moral disagreement. The article also deals with the objection that the mere conceptual possibility renders illustrations of actually happening deep moral disagreements unnecessary. The problem with such objection is that it depends on theoretical assumptions (i.e. denial of moral realism) that are not uncontroversial. Instead, the article claims we need not only suppose deep moral disagreements exist because they actually occur when some intractable conflicts occur. Thus, in so far as to the deep moral disagreement’s existence, the arguments appealing to it are safe. But as intractable conflicts can be resolved, by seeing deep moral disagreements as constitutive part of them, we might have to consider whether deep moral disagreements are resolvable too. A brief suggestion of how that might look like is given in the end of the paper.


Argument from disagreement; Deep moral disagreement; Intractable conflict; Israeli-Palestine conflict; South African apartheid.

Author(s) and affiliation(s)


Serhiy Kiš


University of Pardubice


Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, University of Pardubice, Stavařov 97 532 10 Pardubice, Czech Republic


About this article


13 February 2023


3 July 2023


26 August 2023


Institute of Philosophy of the Slovak Academy of Sciences

Institute of Philosophy of the Czech Academy of Sciences

Cite as


Kiš, S. (2023). Does Deep Moral Disagreement Exist in Real Life? Organon F30(3), 255–277.


Kiš, Serhiy. 2023. "Does Deep Moral Disagreement Exist in Real Life?" Organon F 30 (3): 255–277.


Kiš, S. (2023). Does Deep Moral Disagreement Exist in Real Life? Organon F, 30(3), pp. 255–277.

Copyright information

© Serhiy Kiš

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