Content-type: text/html ~ Stephen's Web ~ Ethics has no foundation

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

Andrew Sepielli offers us a pretty good defense of a non-foundational account of morality based in a pragmtist approach to reasoning. I'm no foundationalist about morality, in the sense that I don't think you can offer a conclusive set of reasons supporting this or that moral theory. But by the end of it, Sepielli's account seems to reduce to some sort of a priori knowledge, which is even less plausible than foundationalism. But Sepielli wants to offer us a form of moral ralism as well - that is, he wants to say that there is a definitive 'yes or no' answer to questions of right and wrong. I am not nearly so confident. I think I can tell a good story about how we come to have our moral beliefs, but explaining why we have the views we do falls far short of proving that they are true. (Image: Flo, from the NY Times, picked at random because my overly-sensitive office network feels that Aeon's image URL is "suspicious" and wouldn't display it with the article. I can't even.)

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: May 22, 2024 5:50 p.m.

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