Non-Cognitivism and the Classification Account of Moral Uncertainty

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (4):719-735 (2016)
  Copy   BIBTEX


ABSTRACTIt has been objected to moral non-cognitivism that it cannot account for fundamental moral uncertainty. A person is derivatively uncertain about whether an act is, say, morally wrong, when her certainty is at bottom due to uncertainty about whether the act has certain non-moral, descriptive, properties, which she takes to be wrong-making. She is fundamentally morally uncertain when her uncertainty directly concerns whether the properties of the act are wrong-making. In this paper we advance a new reply to the objection to non-cognitivism, immune to the problems afflicting earlier replies. First, we argue that fundamental moral uncertainty is best understood as classificatory uncertainty, since the psychological factors behind fundamental moral uncertainty are analogous to the factors behind fundamental uncertainty regarding descriptive, non-moral, matters, and fundamental descriptive uncertainty is naturally understood as classificatory uncertainty. We call this the classification account...



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,907

External links

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

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Meta-Reasoning in Making Moral Decisions Under Normative Uncertainty.Tomasz Żuradzki - 2016 - In Dima Mohammed & Marcin Lewiński (eds.), Argumentation and Reasoned Action. College Publications. pp. 1093-1104.
Against Moral Hedging.Ittay Nissan-Rozen - 2015 - Economics and Philosophy (3):1-21.
Moral uncertainty and human embryo experimentation.Graham Oddie - 1994 - In K. W. M. Fulford, Grant Gillett & Janet Martin Soskice (eds.), Medicine and Moral Reasoning. Cambridge University Press. pp. 3--144.
Moral uncertainty and its consequences.Ted Lockhart - 2000 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Vagueness and Uncertainty.Andrew Bacon - 2009 - Dissertation, Bphil Thesis, Oxford University
Moral Uncertainty and the Principle of Equity among Moral Theories1.Andrew Sepielli - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 86 (3):580-589.
Uncertain science...: uncertain world.Henry N. Pollack - 2003 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Decision Making Under Great Uncertainty.Sven Ove Hansson - 1996 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 26 (3):369-386.
Decision making under great uncertainty.Sven Ove Hansson - 1996 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 26 (3):369-386.
Evaluation, uncertainty and motivation.Michael Smith - 2002 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 5 (3):305-320.
False Precision, Surprise and Improved Uncertainty Assessment.Wendy S. Parker & James S. Risbey - 2015 - Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A 373 (2055):20140453.


Added to PP

120 (#153,012)

6 months
21 (#133,350)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author Profiles

Ragnar Francén
University of Gothenburg
John Eriksson
University of Gothenburg

Citations of this work

Attitudinal Ambivalence: Moral Uncertainty for Non-Cognitivists.Nicholas Makins - 2022 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 100 (3):580-594.
Moral Cognitivism vs. Non-Cognitivism.Mark van Roojen - 2013 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 2013 (1):1-88.
A solution to the many attitudes problem.Bob Beddor - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (9):2789-2813.
Normative certitude for expressivists.Michael Ridge - 2020 - Synthese 197 (8):3325-3347.
Making Quasi-Realists Admit of Fundamental Moral Fallibility.Garrett Lam - 2020 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 98 (2):294-303.

View all 11 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

The moral problem.Michael Smith - 1994 - Cambridge, Mass., USA: Blackwell.
The Language of Morals.Richard Mervyn Hare - 1952 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
The language of morals.Richard Mervyn Hare - 1963 - Oxford,: Clarendon Press.
Being for: evaluating the semantic program of expressivism.Mark Andrew Schroeder - 2008 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by Mark Schroeder.
Epistemic Two-Dimensional Semantics.David J. Chalmers - 2004 - Philosophical Studies 118 (1-2):153-226.

View all 17 references / Add more references