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Value and ContextThe Nature of Moral and Political Knowledge$
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Alan Thomas

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780198250173

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0198250177.001.0001

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The Problem of Moral Knowledge

The Problem of Moral Knowledge

(p.11) 1 The Problem of Moral Knowledge
Value and Context

Alan Thomas (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the philosophies of Harman and Mackie with a view to highlighting six claims of central concern: (1) whether issues of objectivity should be raised ‘reflexively’ at the meta-level of enquiry; (2) whether the best account of objectivity will essentially vindicate itself in its own terms; (3) the reducibility of moral properties figuring in moral explanations; (4) whether moral explanations are ever the best explanations of belief; (5) the appropriateness in this context of a causal theory of knowledge; and (6) whether the concepts deployed in morality are to a certain extent local or perspectival in the sense of tied in to our particular sensibilities. It is argued that the framework of minimalism about truth is the best way of prosecuting debates over objectivity.

Keywords:   objectivity, Gilbert Harman, John Mackie, moral knowledge, truth

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