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Epistemology and ethics

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-P017-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved June 24, 2024, from

Article Summary

Epistemology and ethics are both concerned with evaluations: ethics with evaluations of conduct, epistemology with evaluations of beliefs and other cognitive acts. Of considerable interest to philosophers are the ways in which the two kinds of evaluations relate to one another. Philosophers’ explorations of these relations divide into two general categories: examination of potential analogies between the two fields, and attempts to identify necessary or conceptual connections between the two domains.

There is little doubt that there are at least superficial similarities between ethics and epistemology: one might say that ethics is about the appraisal of social behaviour and agents, while epistemology is about the appraisal of cognitive acts and agents. On the other hand, the widely held view that behaviour subject to moral evaluation is free and voluntary while beliefs are not, suggests one important disanalogy between the two fields.

Citing this article:
Feldman, Richard. Epistemology and ethics, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-P017-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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