Great Philosophers : Moral Knowledge

1430 Words6 Pages
Laurella Dotan
Great Philosophers
Moral Knowledge

Over the last several thousand years, ideas of what is acceptable, right, and moral have shifted and evolved. What one time period and place held as a moral truth—such as the acceptability of slavery due to a person’s skin color—another place and time views as a moral failing. How humans gain knowledge, and even the very nature of knowledge, have been hotly contested throughout the centuries, as philosophers have developed various theories attempting to elucidate the nature of knowledge and the process through which it is acquired. Knowledge is facts, information, and skills—it is the understanding of something. Morals and morality concerns the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior and qualities. Within these contexts of knowledge and morality, moral knowledge can be defined as the truth about the inherent morality of an action—whether the essence of something is good or bad, right or wrong, and to what extent. Moral knowledge is impossible because there is too much disparity between moral judgments, as moral claims do not reflect objective truths, but are manifestations of emotions, attitudes, and interests. Moral judgments do not stem from moral knowledge, for there are far too many discrepancies in what constitutes a moral act, quality, or behavior between cultures and individuals. These differences can be explained by viewing a moral claim not as an absolute truth, but as a reflection
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