Explaining Moral Knowledge

Journal of Moral Philosophy 11 (1):35-56 (2014)
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Abstract

In this paper I assess the viability of a particularist explanation of moral knowledge. First, I consider two arguments by Sean McKeever and Michael Ridge that purport to show that a generalist, principle-based explanation of practical wisdom—understood as the ability to acquire moral knowledge in a wide range of situations—is superior to a particularist, non-principle-based account. I contend that both arguments are unsuccessful. Then, I propose a particularist-friendly explanation of knowledge of particular moral facts. I argue that when we are careful to keep separate the various explanatory tasks at hand we can see that a particularist-friendly explanation of the fact that Jane knows that A is morally right might not be so difficult to come by. Moreover, I suggest that a particularist approach to explaining knowledge of particular moral facts may go some way towards discharging the challenge of moral scepticism

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Author's Profile

Uri D. Leibowitz
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

References found in this work

Ethics Without Principles.Jonathan Dancy - 2004 - Oxford University Press.
Studies in the Logic of Explanation.Carl Gustav Hempel & Paul Oppenheim - 1948 - Philosophy of Science 15 (2):135-175.
Compassionate Phenomenal Conservatism.Michael Huemer - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (1):30–55.
Studies in the Logic of Explanation.Carl G. Hempel & Paul Oppenheim - 1948 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 14 (2):133-133.

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