A Contextual Model of Moral Justification

Alan Thomas

in Value and Context

Published in print July 2006 | ISBN: 9780198250173
Published online September 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191604072 | DOI:
 A Contextual Model of Moral Justification

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This chapter develops an application of contextualism in the specific case of moral knowledge. The overall aim is the final vindication of a contextualist account of moral justification that supports a cognitivist interpretation of morality. It explains how contextualism compares and contrasts with the dominant coherentist model of moral epistemology in contemporary ethics, namely, an understanding of Rawlsian reflective equilibrium as a coherence theory of justification. It argues that contextualism can be seen as arising from Rawls’s methodological assumptions, if one retains the assumption that considered moral judgements retain a direct source of moral justification even when they derive further warrant from their embedding in a context of justification.

Keywords: contextualism; moral justification; moral knowledge; cognitivism; circularity; pluralism; John Rawls

Chapter.  15603 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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