Moral Epistemology: The Mathematics Analogy

Noûs 48 (2):238-255 (2014)

Justin Clarke-Doane
Columbia University
There is a long tradition comparing moral knowledge to mathematical knowledge. In this paper, I discuss apparent similarities and differences between knowledge in the two areas, realistically conceived. I argue that many of these are only apparent, while others are less philosophically significant than might be thought. The picture that emerges is surprising. There are definitely differences between epistemological arguments in the two areas. However, these differences, if anything, increase the plausibility of moral realism as compared to mathematical realism. It is hard to see how one might argue, on epistemological grounds, for moral antirealism while maintaining commitment to mathematical realism. But it may be possible to do the opposite.
Keywords epistemology  moral  mathematical  disagreement  benacerraf  indispensability  axioms  harman  mackie  street
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DOI 10.1111/j.1468-0068.2012.00875.x
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References found in this work BETA

The View From Nowhere.Thomas Nagel - 1986 - Oxford University Press.
Thinking How to Live.Allan Gibbard - 2003 - Harvard University Press.
Ethical Intuitionism.Michael Huemer - 2005 - Palgrave Macmillan.

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Debunking Arguments.Daniel Z. Korman - 2019 - Philosophy Compass 14 (12).
The Ethics–Mathematics Analogy.Justin Clarke‐Doane - 2020 - Philosophy Compass 15 (1).

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