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Moral knowledge

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-L056-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved May 18, 2024, from

Article Summary

One possesses moral knowledge when, but only when, one’s moral opinions are true and held justifiably. Whether anyone actually has moral knowledge is open to serious doubt, both because moral opinions are so hard to justify and because there is reason to think moral opinions are expressions not of belief (which might be evaluated as true or false) but of taste or preference. A successful defence of the view that people do have moral knowledge requires assuaging these doubts. Attempts in this direction standardly emphasize the respects in which our moral opinions, and the evidence we have for them, are analogous to the opinions and evidence we have concerning nonmoral matters, such as logic, mathematics, science, psychology and history. In the process they attempt to show that we do have good reason to think some of our moral opinions are true.

Citing this article:
Sayre-McCord, Geoffrey. Moral knowledge, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-L056-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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