The Problem of Morally Repugnant Beliefs

In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Meta-Ethics, volume 18. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 218-241 (2023)
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What is the connection between justification and truth in moral epistemology? The primary goal of this paper is to argue that you cannot have justified false beliefs about your own moral obligations. The secondary goal is to explain why not. Some epistemologists embrace a global truth-connection in epistemology, according to which epistemic justification is always factive. In contrast, I endorse a local truth-connection in moral epistemology, which says that epistemic justification is factive when it concerns your own moral obligations. To explain this, I appeal to a version of moral rationalism, which says there are necessary truths about morality that everyone has a priori justification to believe.

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Declan Smithies
Ohio State University


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