Honors College Thesis

 

Moral Truth and Hume's Fork: The Prospects of Reconciliation Public Deposited

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  • Hume’s division of truth into agreement with matters of fact or relations of ideas casts doubt on our capacity to have moral knowledge, as moral propositions do not seem to fall obviously into either category. This thesis looks at how two views, ‘descriptive moral functionalism’ and ‘moral concept essentialism’, try to account for moral truth as agreement to matter of fact and relations of ideas, respectively. Descriptive moral functionalism uses our folk-theoretic template of moral intuitions to try to fix the truth conditions for when a state of affairs possesses a moral property. Moral concept essentialism tries to find a place for moral truth among relations of ideas by appealing to the essences of concepts. I conclude that both views are unsatisfactory and that this should motivate us to look for other accounts of moral truth if we want to preserve our claim to moral knowledge.
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