Kieran Setiya

in Knowing Right From Wrong

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199657452
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745539 | DOI:

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The previous chapters have argued that we can solve the problem of disagreement and the problem of coincidence by getting clear on the structure of justification in ethics. This chapter extends this point to the etiological critique of ethical realism. Still, a problem remains, about the prospect of ethical knowledge. When someone knows that p, it is no accident that her belief is true, because it derives from a method whose reliability is no accident: there is an explanatory connection between her use of this method and its being reliable. This condition can be satisfied in ethics, the chapter argues, only through a constitutive connection between ethical fact and belief. The challenge is to articulate this connection in a way that avoids social relativism and implausible predictions of convergence in ethical thought.

Keywords: convergence; disagreement; epistemology; ethics; evolution; explanation; knowledge; relativism; reliability; scepticism

Chapter.  15521 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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