Explaining moral knowledge

Leibowitz, Uri D. (2014) Explaining moral knowledge. Journal of Moral Philosophy, 11 (1). pp. 35-56. ISSN 1745-5243

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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 scepticism.

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: Leibowitz, Dr. Uri D.
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2015 09:59
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2016 12:58
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/30942

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