Normative uncertainty and probabilistic moral knowledge

Synthese 198 (7):6739-6765 (2019)
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Abstract

The aim of this paper is to examine whether it would be advantageous to introduce knowledge norms instead of the currently assumed rational credence norms into the debate about decision making under normative uncertainty. There is reason to think that this could help us better accommodate cases in which agents are rationally highly confident in false moral views. I show how Moss’ view of probabilistic knowledge can be fruitfully employed to develop a decision theory that delivers plausible verdicts in these cases. I also argue that, for this new view to be better than existing alternatives, it must adopt a particular solution to the new evil demon problem, which asks whether agents and their BIV-counterparts are equally justified. In order to get an attractive decision theory for cases of moral uncertainty, we must reject the claim that agents and their BIV-counterparts are equally justified. Moreover, the resulting view must be supplemented with a moral epistemology that explains how it is possible to be rationally morally uncertain. This is especially challenging if we assume that moral truths are knowable a priori.

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Julia Staffel
University of Colorado, Boulder

Citations of this work

Summary of Probabilistic Knowledge.Sarah Moss - 2020 - Analysis 80 (2):313-315.

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References found in this work

Probabilistic Knowledge.Sarah Moss - 2018 - Oxford University Press.
Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Philosophy 76 (297):460-464.
Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2003 - Philosophical Quarterly 53 (210):105-116.
Knowledge and Lotteries.John Hawthorne - 2005 - Philosophical Quarterly 55 (219):353-356.

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