Permissiveness in morality and epistemology

Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy (forthcoming)
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Morality is intrapersonally permissive: cases abound in which an agent has more than one morally permitted option. In contrast, there is a dearth of cases in which an agent has more than one epistemically permitted response to her evidence. Given the structural parallels between morality and epistemology, why do sources of moral permissiveness fail to have parallel permissive effects in the epistemic domain? This asymmetry between morality and epistemology cries out for explanation. The paper's task is to offer an answer to that call. We explain the asymmetry by tracing moral permissiveness to two factors to which rationality is morally but not epistemically sensitive.



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Author Profiles

Han Li
Rutgers University - Camden
Bradford Saad
Utrecht University

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