In Robin McKenna & Christos Kyriacou (eds.), Metaepistemology: Realism & Antirealism. Palgrave Macmillan (2018)

Charles Cote-Bouchard
Université de Montréal
Clayton Littlejohn
King's College London
According to moral error theorists, moral claims necessarily represent categorically or robustly normative facts. But since there are no such facts, moral thought and discourse are systematically mistaken. One widely discussed objection to the moral error theory is that it cannot be true because it leads to an epistemic error theory. We argue that this objection is mistaken. Objectors may be right that the epistemic error theory is untenable. We also agree with epistemic realists that our epistemological claims are not systematically in error. However, this is not because there are robustly normative facts, but rather because the truth of our epistemic claims doesn’t turn on whether there are such facts. Epistemic facts, we argue, are not robustly or categorically normative. Moral error theorists should therefore respond to the objection that their view does not commit them to the epistemic error theory.
Keywords Metaepistemology  Epistemic Normativity  Error theory  Metaethics  Normativity  Moral realism  Epistemic realism  Epistemology  Epistemic norms  Epistemic reasons
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