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Explaining moral knowledge

Leibowitz, Uri D.


Uri D. Leibowitz


In this paper I assess the viability of a particularist explanation of moral knowledge.
First, I consider two arguments by Sean McKeever and Michael Ridge that purport to
show that a generalist, principle-based explanation of practical wisdom—understood
as the ability to acquire moral knowledge in a wide range of situations—is superior
to a particularist, non-principle-based account. I contend that both arguments
are unsuccessful. Then, I propose a particularist-friendly explanation of knowledge
of particular moral facts. I argue that when we are careful to keep separate the
various explanatory tasks at hand we can see that a particularist-friendly explanation
of the fact that (e.g.,) Jane knows that A is morally right might not be so difficult
to come by. Moreover, I suggest that a particularist approach to explaining knowledge
of particular moral facts may go some way towards discharging the challenge of moral


Leibowitz, U. D. (2014). Explaining moral knowledge. Journal of Moral Philosophy, 11(1),

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2014
Deposit Date Apr 10, 2014
Publicly Available Date Apr 10, 2014
Journal Journal of Moral Philosophy
Print ISSN 1740-4681
Electronic ISSN 1740-4681
Publisher Brill Academic Publishers
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 11
Issue 1
Keywords Particularism, Generalism, Principles, Moral knowledge, Moral epistemology
Public URL
Publisher URL
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address:


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