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Flashcards in Moral Knowledge Deck (9)
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What do all forms of cognitivism involve?

Rational insight


In what way does naturalism rely on reason?

Establishing the connection between moral properties and natural facts


Explain the difference between empirical and moral knowledge.

Empirical knowledge is acquired through causation. I know that some roses are red because light waves, etc, cause this knowledge. But moral knowledge is not caused by mental properties.


What are the two models of moral knowledge?

Self evidence, and reflective equilibrium


What is self-evidence?

A self-evident judgement rests on the evidence of its own plausibility. Eg. Mill believed it was self-evident that pleasure was good.


What does 'reflective equilibrium' mean?

No judgement is self-evident. Instead, we reach moral judgements by considering our pre-existing moral beliefs and attitudes; moral reflection is guided by our intuitions.


Provide an example of reflective equilibrium.

Zack believes he should follow every command in the Bible. But he also thinks it is not ethical to stone heathens to death. These views may come into contact - in which case, he will have to use his intuitions to consider the relative merit of his different beliefs, moving towards reflective equilibrium.


How do non-cognitivists respond to the problem of moral knowledge?

Our intuitions aren't insights into moral truth at all. Instead, they are merely reflections of pre-existing values and commitments. For example, an emotivist would claim that if Zack decides it's A-OK to stone Wiccans to death, his 'intuition' would be nothing more than an irrational attitude.


Which theory in particular can the problem of moral knowledge challenge?

Transcendent Moral Truth