Moral Judgments, Cognitivism and the Dispositional Nature of Belief: Why Moral Peer Intransigence is Intelligible

Philosophia 49 (4):1753-1766 (2021)

Abstract

Richard Rowland has recently argued that considerations based on moral disagreement between epistemic peers give us reason to think that cognitivism about moral judgments, i.e., the thesis that moral judgments are beliefs, is false. The novelty of Rowland’s argument is to tweak the problem descriptively, i.e., not focusing on what one ought to do, but on what disputants actually do in the light of peer disagreement. The basic idea is that moral peer disagreement is intelligible. However, if moral judgments were beliefs, and beliefs track perceived evidence, then moral peer disagreement would not be intelligible. Hence, moral judgments are not beliefs. The argument is both novel and interesting, but this paper argues that it fails to establish the conclusion. Beliefs are plausibly analyzed as constituted by dispositions to respond to what is perceived as evidence, but dispositions can always be interfered with. Provided a background explanation of why the disposition is not manifested, peer intransigence is quite intelligible.

Download options

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 72,879

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Analytics

Added to PP
2021-03-24

Downloads
12 (#816,889)

6 months
2 (#257,834)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author Profiles

John Eriksson
University of Gothenburg
Marco Tiozzo
University of Gothenburg

References found in this work

The Moral Problem.Michael Smith (ed.) - 1994 - Wiley.
Higher‐Order Evidence and the Limits of Defeat.Maria Lasonen-Aarnio - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (2):314-345.
Higher Order Evidence.David Christensen - 2010 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (1):185-215.

View all 17 references / Add more references

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Epistemology of Moral Disagreement.Richard Rowland - 2017 - Philosophy Compass 12 (2):1-16.
Peirce, Moral Cognitivism, and the Development of Character. Massecar - 2014 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 50 (1):139.
Evolution and Moral Disagreement.Michael Klenk - 2018 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 14 (2).
Self-Evidence and Disagreement in Ethics.Ryan Fanselow - 2011 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 5 (3):1-17.
Moral Error Theory and the Belief Problem.Jussi Suikkanen - 2013 - In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics: Volume 8. Oxford University Press. pp. 168-194.
The Belief Problem for Moral Error Theory.Wouter Floris Kalf - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-22.