Dissertation, UCLA (2011)

Authors
C. Thi Nguyen
University of Utah
Abstract
Moral reasoning is as fallible as reasoning in any other cognitive domain, but we often behave as if it were not. I argue for a form of epistemically-based moral humility, in which we downgrade our moral beliefs in the face of moral disagreement. My argument combines work in metaethics and moral intuitionism with recent developments in epistemology. I argue against any demands for deep self-sufficiency in moral reasoning. Instead, I argue that we need to take into account significant socially sourced information, especially as a check for failures on our own moral intuitions and reasoning. First, I argue for an epistemically plausible version of moral intuitionism, based on recent work in epistemic entitlement and epistemic warrant. Second, I argue that getting clear on the epistemic basis shows the defeasibility of moral judgment. Third, I argue the existence of moral disagreement is a reason to reduce our certainty in moral judgment. Fourth, I argue that this effect is not a violation of norms of autonomy for moral judgment.
Keywords epistemology  metaethics  disagreement  testimony  autonomy  intuitionism  entitlement  warrant  humility  social epistemology
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References found in this work BETA

The Skeptic and the Dogmatist.James Pryor - 2000 - Noûs 34 (4):517–549.
Warrant for Nothing (and Foundations for Free)?Crispin Wright - 2004 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 78 (1):167–212.
Trust and Antitrust.Annette Baier - 1986 - Ethics 96 (2):231-260.
The Epistemic Significance of Disagreement.Thomas Kelly - 2005 - In John Hawthorne & Tamar Gendler (eds.), Oxford Studies in Epistemology, Volume 1. Oxford University Press. pp. 167-196.

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Citations of this work BETA

Echo Chambers and Epistemic Bubbles.C. Thi Nguyen - 2020 - Episteme 17 (2):141-161.
Autonomy, Understanding, and Moral Disagreement.C. Thi Nguyen - 2010 - Philosophical Topics 38 (2):111-129.

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