Moral Skepticisms

Moral Skepticisms

4.18 (11 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Moral epistemology is the term for thinking about how a moral belief can be justified. All contentious moral issues -from gay marriage to terrorism-raise difficult questions about the formation and status of moral beliefs. If we do form an opinion, how is that belief justified, particularly when others may feel quite differently? And even if we reach a consensus, how is that unanimous belief justified? These questions raise fundamental issues about the nature of morality, language, metaphysics, and justification and knowledge; but they also have tremendous practical importance regarding how to (if indeed we can) resolve controversial moral issues in health care ethics, politics, the law, and education. Most agree that moral nihilism-the idea that moral beliefs simply cannot be justified-is undesirable. Sinnott-Armstrong here provides an extensive survey of this difficult subject, tackling such questions as: Does knowledge require true belief? Are any moral beliefs true, and are any justified? The second half of the book brings into dialogue various moral theories that have grappled with these questions, such as naturalism, normativism, intuitionism, and coherentism, all of which are attempts to answer moral skepticism. Sinnott-Armstrong finds all of these theories lacking in their ability to fight off moral nihilism. He defends his own theory, which he calls "moderate moral skepticism," which argues that some moral beliefs can be modestly justified, but not extremely justified.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 286 pages
  • 160 x 236.2 x 30.5mm | 544.32g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 0195187725
  • 9780195187724

Review quote

Sinnott-Armstrong's aim is to determine whether, how, and to what extent our moral beliefs can be justified. His discussion of these issues is remarkably clear, thorough, and solid... Given its philosophical rigor and insight and the import of the issues it deals with, I highly recommend this book not solely to those interested in moral epistemology but to anyone concerned with epistemology in general. * Diego E. Muchuca, Philosophy in Review *show more

About Walter Sinnott-Armstrong

Walter Sinnott-Armstrong is Professor of Philosophy and Hardy Professor of Legal Studies, Dartmouth College. He is author of The Existence of God and editor of Pyrrhonian Skepticism.show more

Review Text

Sinnott-Armstrong's aim is to determine whether, how, and to what extent our moral beliefs can be justified. His discussion of these issues is remarkably clear, thorough, and solid... Given its philosophical rigor and insight and the import of the issues it deals with, I highly recommend this book not solely to those interested in moral epistemology but to anyone concerned with epistemology in general. Diego E. Muchuca, Philosophy in Reviewshow more

Rating details

11 ratings
4.18 out of 5 stars
5 27% (3)
4 64% (7)
3 9% (1)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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