Explaining moral knowledge

Leibowitz, Uri D. (2014) Explaining moral knowledge. Journal of Moral Philosophy, 11 (1). pp. 35-56. ISSN 1740-4681

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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 (e.g.,) 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


Item Type: Article
Keywords: Particularism, Generalism, Principles, Moral knowledge, Moral epistemology
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham UK Campus > Faculty of Arts > School of Humanities > Department of Philosophy
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1163/17455243-4681012
Depositing User: de Sousa, Mrs Shona
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2014 10:50
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2016 14:44
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/2935

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