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Finite and Infinite GoodsA Framework for Ethics$
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Robert Merrihew Adams

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780195153712

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195153715.001.0001

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Revelation of the Good

Revelation of the Good

(p.353) 15 Revelation of the Good
Finite and Infinite Goods

Robert Merrihew Adams (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter proposes a doxastic practice epistemology for ethics, holding that we rightly, and probably inescapably, rely on belief‐forming dispositions that we have formed in learning social practices of evaluation. In the context of a theistic metaethics, the reliability of such practices and dispositions is explained in terms of a concept of “general revelation,” a concept that allows that some to whom ethical truths are revealed may be atheists. The chapter also expounds a conception of “special revelation” connected with historic religious traditions, in which particular possibilities of goodness may be empirically discovered and divine commands may be addressed to particular communities at particular times.

Keywords:   atheism, divine command, epistemology, metaethics, moral belief, reliability, revelation, theism

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