Moral Knowledge and the Genealogy of Error

Journal of Value Inquiry 51 (3):455-474 (2017)
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In this paper, I argue that in order to explain our own moral reliability, we must provide a theory of error for those who disagree with us. Any story that seeks to vindicate our own reliability must also explain how so many others have gone wrong, otherwise it is not actually a vindicatory story. Thus, we cannot claim to have vindicated our own moral reliability unless we can explain the unreliability of those who hold contrary beliefs. This, I show, requires us to engage directly with cultural history, a topic which has been unfortunately obscured by the meta-ethicist’s near-exclusive focus on evolutionary challenges to moral belief.
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