Non-Cognitivism and the Classification Account of Moral Uncertainty

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

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...

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Author Profiles

Ragnar Francén
University of Gothenburg
John Eriksson
University of Gothenburg

Citations of this work

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