Chapter

Human Nature

Kieran Setiya

in Knowing Right From Wrong

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199657452
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745539 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199657452.003.0005
Human Nature

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This chapter solves the problem posed in chapter three. We can make sense of ethical knowledge without social convergence or relativism if ethical facts are connected with our beliefs through the natural history of human life. The chapter develops a conception of human nature that supports this possibility, relates the conditions of knowledge to those of justified belief, and considers the implications of its approach. It follows from the account of ethical knowledge in terms of natural history that human beings are by nature reliable in ethics, though individuals or whole societies may go astray. The book ends by arguing that it is rational to hope, and to believe, that this is true.

Keywords: convergence; disagreement; epistemology; ethics; explanation; human nature; justification; knowledge; relativism; reliability

Chapter.  10987 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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