Moral Skepticisms


Moral Skepticisms provides a detailed overview of moral epistemology, addressing such profound questions as: Are any moral beliefs true? Are any justified? Is moral knowledge possible? These questions lead to fundamental issues about the nature of morality, language, metaphysics, justification, and knowledge. They also have tremendous practical importance for controversial moral debates in politics, law, education, and health care ethics. To help understand these questions, Part 1 provides essential background, clarifies the issues, and argues for a novel contrastivist account of justified belief. Part 2 then explores the main alternatives in moral epistemology, including naturalism, normativism, intuitionism, contextualism, and coherentism. Sinnott-Armstrong argues that all of these approaches fail to rule out moral nihilism-the view that nothing is really morally wrong or right, bad or good. Then he develops his own novel theory - moderate classy Pyrrhonian moral skepticism - which concludes that some moral beliefs can be justified out of a modest contrast class, but no moral beliefs can be justified out of an unlimited contrast class, and neither contrast class is the relevant one, so no moral belief is justified without qualification.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Sinnott-Armstrong, W

Published Date

  • February 1, 2006

Start / End Page

  • 1 - 288

International Standard Book Number 13 (ISBN-13)

  • 9780195187724

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1093/0195187725.001.0001

Citation Source

  • Scopus