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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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A Contextual Model of Moral Justification

A Contextual Model of Moral Justification

(p.198) 8 A Contextual Model of Moral Justification
Value and Context

Alan Thomas (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter develops an application of contextualism in the specific case of moral knowledge. The overall aim is the final vindication of a contextualist account of moral justification that supports a cognitivist interpretation of morality. It explains how contextualism compares and contrasts with the dominant coherentist model of moral epistemology in contemporary ethics, namely, an understanding of Rawlsian reflective equilibrium as a coherence theory of justification. It argues that contextualism can be seen as arising from Rawls’s methodological assumptions, if one retains the assumption that considered moral judgements retain a direct source of moral justification even when they derive further warrant from their embedding in a context of justification.

Keywords:   contextualism, moral justification, moral knowledge, cognitivism, circularity, pluralism, John Rawls

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