David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Croatian Journal of Philosophy 5 (3):569-582 (2005)
In his insightful and stimulating book Morality Without Foundations: A Defense of Ethical Contextualism, Mark Timmons presents a strong case for embracing contextualism as a vibrant alternative to the two rival accounts that used to dominate moral epistemology in the past, foundationalism and coherentism. His sophisticated version of contextualist moral epistemology (CME) comprises of several intriguing and mind-boggling theses: (i) moral beliefs that lack Justification altogether can nevertheless be held in an epistemically responsible way; (ii) such unjustified beliefs can provide justification for other moral beliefs; (iii) the need for a justification of our moral beliefs does not always arise; and, finally, (iv) the potential for such a Justification depends on contextual parameters and can therefore never be fixed in advance.Despite its initial appeal, CME, or so I argue, ultimately fails to convince. In the paper I raise several mutually independent objections against Timmon’s solution. My main worry is that while contextualism mayguarantee us a cheap justification for our moral beliefs, such a justification is ultimately worthless for both theoretical and practical reasons: not only does it sever ties to moral truth that justification was initialy supposed to track, it also fails to resolve (or even point in the direction of resolving) any of our traditional moral disputes. Though, admittedly, none of my objections amounts to a knock-down argument, taken together they cast serious doubt both on certain aspects of Timmons’ particular solution and the presumed practical and theoretical need for a contextualist agenda in moral epistemology
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Mark Timmons (1999). Morality Without Foundations: A Defense of Ethical Contextualism. Oxford University Press.
Basil Smith (2001). Mark Timmons, Morality Without Foundations: A Defense of Ethical Contextualism. [REVIEW] Journal of Value Inquiry 35 (2):269-273.
Mylan Engel Jr (2012). Coherentism and the Epistemic Justification of Moral Beliefs: A Case Study in How to Do Practical Ethics Without Appeal to a Moral Theory. Southern Journal of Philosophy 50 (1):50-74.
Elvio Baccarini (2009). Moral Epistemological Coherentism, Contextualism, and Consensualism. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 9 (1):69-89.
Lars Binderup (2008). Brogaard's Moral Contextualism. Philosophical Quarterly 58 (232):410–415.
John Greco (2008). What's Wrong with Contextualism? Philosophical Quarterly 58 (232):416 - 436.
Walter Sinnott-Armstrong (2006). Moral Skepticisms. Oxford University Press.
Jonathan Smith (2010). On Sinnott-Armstrong's Case Against Moral Intuitionism. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 13 (1):75 - 88.
T. Shogenji (2001). The Role of Coherence in Epistemic Justification. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 79 (1):90 – 106.
Jeremy Randel Koons (2000). Do Normative Facts Need to Explain? Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 81 (3):246–272.
Theresa Weynand Tobin (2011). The Relevance of Trust for Moral Justification. Social Theory and Practice 37 (4):599-628.
David O. Brink (1999). Objectivity and Dialectical Methods in Ethics. Inquiry 42 (2):195 – 212.
Fabienne Peter (2013). Epistemic Foundations of Political Liberalism. Journal of Moral Philosophy 10 (5):598-620.
Michael Pace (2011). The Epistemic Value of Moral Considerations: Justification, Moral Encroachment, and James' 'Will To Believe'. Noûs 45 (2):239-268.
Michael Huemer (1997). Probability and Coherence Justification. Southern Journal of Philosophy 35 (4):463-472.
Added to index2011-01-09
Total downloads8 ( #168,674 of 1,099,003 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #287,293 of 1,099,003 )
How can I increase my downloads?