Moral Epistemology

Karen Jones

in The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Philosophy

Published in print November 2007 | ISBN: 9780199234769
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:


 Moral Epistemology

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Meta-ethics comprises three branches: semantics, metaphysics, and epistemology. However, while epistemological concerns drive much of contemporary meta-ethical theorizing, epistemology tends to receive less explicit attention than semantics and metaphysics. In part, this might be because of an assumption that only moral realists need provide us with an epistemology, for only if we suppose that there are moral properties and facts that are appropriately independent of our moral beliefs and attitudes will we need to tell a story about how we can come to know them. Irrealist accounts might be thought to face considerably reduced epistemological burdens, or to escape them altogether.

Keywords: semantics; metaphysics; epistemology; meta-ethics; moral epistemology; meta-ethical theorizing; semantics

Article.  10788 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Moral Philosophy ; Epistemology

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