David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophia 37 (4):669-679 (2009)
In On Certainty, Wittgenstein’s reflections bring into view the phenomenon of basic certainty. He explores this phenomenon mostly in relation to our certainty with regard to empirical states of affairs. Drawing on these seminal observations and reflections, I extend the inquiry into what I call “basic moral certainty”, arguing that the latter plays the same kind of foundational role in our moral practices and judgements as basic empirical certainty does in our epistemic practices and judgements. I illustrate the nature and significance of basic moral certainty via critical examination of contemporary philosophical “explanations” of the wrongness of killing. These pseudo explanations, as I show them to be, will be seen to founder in a similar manner to Moore’s “Proof” of an external world, that is, in a manner that discloses the phenomenon of basic (moral) certainty.
|Keywords||Wittgenstein Basic certainty Badness of death Wrongness of killing|
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References found in this work BETA
G. E. Moore (1903/2004). Principia Ethica. Dover Publications.
Don Marquis (1989). Why Abortion is Immoral. Journal of Philosophy 86 (4):183-202.
Fred Feldman (1992). Confrontations with the Reaper: A Philosophical Study of the Nature and Value of Death. Oxford University Press.
Kai Draper (1999). Disappointment, Sadness, and Death. Philosophical Review 108 (3):387-414.
Daniele Moyal-Sharrock & William H. Brenner (eds.) (2007). Readings on Wittgenstein's On Certainty. Palgrave Macmillan.
Citations of this work BETA
Richard Rowland (forthcoming). In Defence of Good Simpliciter. Philosophical Studies:1-21.
Robert Greenleaf Brice (2013). Mistakes and Mental Disturbances: Pleasants, Wittgenstein, and Basic Moral Certainty. Philosophia 41 (2):477-487.
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