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Title: How do we know particular moral truths?
Author: Riaz, Amber
ISNI:       0000 0003 6722 5725
Awarding Body: Oxford University
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2010
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Abstract:
This thesis concerns a posteriori knowledge of particular, contingent moral propositions (particular moral knowledge). It assumes that moral scepticism is false. Chapter One explains and motivates this assumption. On an inferentialist moral epistemology, particular moral knowledge is acquired by inference from other known moral principles and non-moral facts. On another inferentialist moral epistemology, particular moral knowledge is the result of inference to the best explanation of our moral observations. Chapter Two argues against both these views. In the last two chapters, I argue that there is some non-inferential particular moral knowledge. In Chapter Three, I argue that we have some moral knowledge by perceiving moral facts, such as the fact that those boys are being cruel to that cat, and this knowledge does not inferentially rest on non-moral evidence in any way distinctive to its moral content. On some theories of perception, perception is a rich source of non- inferential a posteriori knowledge of particular, contingent facts about the external world. Given such theories, I argue, we have some particular moral knowledge by perception. On some other theories, perception is still a rich source of a posteriori knowledge of particular, contingent facts about the external world but most such knowledge is inferential. Given theories of the latter sort, I argue, we have some particular moral knowledge by perception which is not inferential in any way distinctive to its moral content, but is inferential only in any way generic to most perceptual knowledge of the external world. In Chapter Four I argue that we have non-inferential knowledge of some moral facts, such as that Hitler was evil, by testimony. On some theories of testimony, it is a rich source of non-inferential a posteriori knowledge. On these theories, I argue, we have some non- inferential particular moral knowledge by testimony. On other theories of testimony, it is a rich source only of inferential a posteriori knowledge. On theories of the latter sort, I argue, we have some particular moral knowledge by testimony that is not inferential in any way distinctive to its moral content, but is inferential only in any way generic to most knowledge by testimony.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.550572  DOI: Not available
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