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Knowing Right From Wrong$
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Kieran Setiya

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199657452

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199657452.001.0001

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(p.12) 1 Disagreement
Knowing Right From Wrong

Kieran Setiya

Oxford University Press

This chapter confronts the challenge of ethical disagreement. It argues that we should reject conciliatory accounts of disagreement in general. At the same time, standard theories of justification in ethics support the inference from disagreement to scepticism. In order to resist this inference, we must reject epistemologies of intuition, coherence, and reflective equilibrium. The problem of disagreement can be solved only if the basic standards of epistemology in ethics are ‘biased towards the truth’. The chapter concludes with a ‘Reductive Epistemology’ on which the evidence for ethical claims consists in evidence for non-ethical facts in virtue of which they are, or would be, true.

Keywords:   coherence, disagreement, epistemology, ethics, evidence, intuitionism, justification, reflective equilibrium, scepticism, supervenience

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