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Colloqium: Declan Smithies

Friday, November 5, 2021 - 3:00pm

Cohen Hall, room 402

Can we have justified false beliefs about our own moral obligations? Many theories in moral epistemology imply that we can, but such theories face a serious problem, which I call the problem of morally repugnant beliefs. It is hard to maintain that false moral beliefs are justified when acting on those beliefs often seems morally repugnant. I argue that this problem cannot be solved without embracing a factive conception of epistemic justification for belief about your own moral obligations. This provides a compelling motivation for moral rationalism, the thesis that we’re always in an epistemic position to know the necessary truths of morality on a priori grounds.

Paper Title

The Problem of Morally Repugnant Beliefs