David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Oxford University Press (2006)
All contentious moral issues--from gay marriage to abortion and affirmative action--raise difficult questions about the justification of moral beliefs. How can we be justified in holding on to our own moral beliefs while recognizing that other intelligent people feel quite differently and that many moral beliefs are distorted by self-interest and by corrupt cultures? Even when almost everyone agrees--e.g. that experimental surgery without consent is immoral--can we know that such beliefs are true? If so, how? These profound questions lead to fundamental issues about the nature of morality, language, metaphysics, justification, and knowledge. They also have tremendous practical importance in handling controversial moral questions in health care ethics, politics, law, and education. Sinnott-Armstrong here provides an extensive overview of these difficult subjects, looking at a wide variety of questions, including: Are any moral beliefs true? Are any justified? What is justified belief? The second half of the book explores various moral theories that have grappled with these issues, such as naturalism, normativism, intuitionism, and coherentism, all of which are attempts to answer moral skepticism. Sinnott-Armstrong argues that all these approaches fail to rule out moral nihilism--the view that nothing is really morally wrong or right, bad or good. Then he develops his own novel theory,--"moderate Pyrrhonian moral skepticism"--which concludes that some moral beliefs can be justified out of a modest contrast class but no moral beliefs can be justified out of an extreme contrast class. While explaining this original position and criticizing alternatives, Sinnott-Armstrong provides a wide-ranging survey of the epistemology of moral beliefs.
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Buy the book||$12.09 used (88% off) $35.71 new (63% off) $81.74 direct from Amazon (14% off) Amazon page|
|Call number||BJ1031.S56 2006|
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
Terence Cuneo & Russ Shafer-Landau (2014). The Moral Fixed Points: New Directions for Moral Nonnaturalism. Philosophical Studies 171 (3):399-443.
David Enoch (2010). The Epistemological Challenge to Metanormative Realism: How Best to Understand It, and How to Cope with It. Philosophical Studies 148 (3):413 - 438.
David Copp (2008). Darwinian Skepticism About Moral Realism. Philosophical Issues 18 (1):186-206.
Justin Snedegar (2013). Reason Claims and Contrastivism About Reasons. Philosophical Studies 166 (2):231-242.
Christian Coons (2011). How to Prove That Some Acts Are Wrong (Without Using Substantive Moral Premises). Philosophical Studies 155 (1):83–98.
Similar books and articles
Walter Sinnott-Armstrong (2008). Summary of Moral Sketicisms. Philosophical Books 49 (3):193-196.
Nick Zangwill (2006). Moral Epistemology and the Because Constraint. In James Lawrence Dreier (ed.), Contemporary Debates in Moral Theory. Blackwell Pub. 263--281.
Walter Sinnott-Armstrong (1996). Moral Skepticism and Justification. In Walter Sinnott-Armstrong & Mark Timmons (eds.), Moral Knowledge? New Readings in Moral Epistemology. Oxford University Press
Thomas Nadelhoffer & Adam Feltz (2008). The Actor–Observer Bias and Moral Intuitions: Adding Fuel to Sinnott-Armstrong's Fire. Neuroethics 1 (2):133-144.
Mark van Roojen (forthcoming). Moral Intuitionism, Experiments and Skeptical Arguments. In Anthony Booth & Darrell Rowbottom (eds.), Intuitions. Oxford University Press
Elizabeth Tropman (2011). Non-Inferential Moral Knowledge. Acta Analytica 26 (4):355-366.
Mark T. Nelson (2003). Sinnott–Armstrong's Moral Scepticism. Ratio 16 (1):63–82.
Walter Sinnott-Armstrong (2008). Moderate Classy Pyrrhonian Moral Scepticism. Philosophical Quarterly 58 (232):448–456.
Peter Baumann (2008). Problems for Sinnott-Armstrong's Moral Contrastivism. Philosophical Quarterly 58 (232):463–470.
Jonathan Smith (2010). On Sinnott-Armstrong's Case Against Moral Intuitionism. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 13 (1):75 - 88.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads86 ( #38,845 of 1,726,249 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #289,836 of 1,726,249 )
How can I increase my downloads?