The Routledge Handbook of Moral Epistemology  book cover
1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook of Moral Epistemology

ISBN 9781138816121
Published November 16, 2018 by Routledge
562 Pages

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Book Description

The Routledge Handbook of Moral Epistemology brings together philosophers, cognitive scientists, developmental and evolutionary psychologists, animal ethologists, intellectual historians, and educators to provide the most comprehensive analysis of the prospects for moral knowledge ever assembled in print. The book’s thirty chapters feature leading experts describing the nature of moral thought, its evolution, childhood development, and neurological realization. Various forms of moral skepticism are addressed along with the historical development of ideals of moral knowledge and their role in law, education, legal policy, and other areas of social life.

Highlights include:

• Analyses of moral cognition and moral learning by leading cognitive scientists

• Accounts of the normative practices of animals by expert animal ethologists

• An overview of the evolution of cooperation by preeminent evolutionary psychologists

• Sophisticated treatments of moral skepticism, relativism, moral uncertainty, and know-how by renowned philosophers

• Scholarly accounts of the development of Western moral thinking by eminent intellectual historians

• Careful analyses of the role played by conceptions of moral knowledge in political liberation movements, religious institutions, criminal law, secondary education, and professional codes of ethics articulated by cutting-edge social and moral philosophers.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Notes on Contributors



Section I: Science

1 The Quest for the Boundaries of Morality

Stephen Stich (Rutgers University)

2 The Normative Sense: What is Universal? What Varies?         

Elizabeth O’Neill (Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands) and Edouard Machery (University of Pittsburgh)

3   Normative Practices of Other Animals

Sarah Vincent (University of North Florida), Rebecca Ring (York University) and Kristin Andrews (York University)

4   The Neuroscience of Moral Judgement

Joanna Demaree-Cotton (Yale University) and Guy Kahane (University of Oxford)

5   Moral Development in Humans

Julia Van de Vondervoort (University of British Columbia) and Kiley Hamlin (University of British Columbia)

6   Moral Learning

Shaun Nichols (University of Arizona)

7 Moral Reasoning and Emotion

Joshua May (University of Alabama, Birmingham) and Victor Kumar (Boston University)

8 Moral Intuitions and Heuristics

Piotr M. Patrzyk (University of Lausanne, Switzerland)

9 The Evolution of Moral Cognition

Leda Cosmides (University of California, Santa Barbara), Ricardo Andrés Guzmán

(Universidad del Desarrollo, Santiago, Chile), and John Tooby (University of California, Santa Barbara)

Section II: Normative Theory

10 Ancient and Medieval Moral Epistemology
Matthias Perkams (Friedrich-Schiller-Universität, Jena)

11 Modern Moral Epistemology
Kenneth R. Westphal (Boğaziçi Üniversitesi, İstanbul, Turkey)

12 Contemporary Moral Epistemology
Rob Shaver (University of Manitoba. Winnipeg, Canada)

13   The Denial of Moral Knowledge
Richard Joyce (Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand)

14   Nihilism and the Epistemic Profile of Moral Judgment
Jonas Olson (Stockholm University, Sweden)

15 Relativism and Pluralism in Moral Epistemology
David B. Wong (Duke University)

16 Rationalism and Intuitionism—Assessing Three Views about the Psychology of Moral Judgment
Christian B. Miller (Wake Forest College)

17 Moral Perception
Robert Audi (University of Notre Dame)

18 Moral Intuition
Matthew S. Bedke (University of British Columbia, Canada)

19 Foundationalism and Coherentism in Moral Epistemology
Noah Lemos (College of William and Mary)

20   Moral Theory and its Role in Everyday Moral Thought and Action
Brad Hooker (University of Reading, England)

Section III: Applications 

21 Methods, Goals, and Data in Moral Theorizing

John Bengson (University of Wisconsin), Terence Cuneo (University of Vermont), and Russ Shafer-Landau (University of Wisconsin)

22 Moral Knowledge as Know-How

Jennifer Cole Wright (College of Charleston)

23 Group Moral Knowledge

Deborah Tollefsen and Christopher Lucibella (University of Memphis)

24 Moral Epistemology and Liberation Movements

Lauren Woomer (Independent Scholar)

25 Moral Expertise

Alison Hills (Oxford University, UK)

26 Moral Epistemology and Professional Codes of Ethics

Alan Goldman (College of William and Mary)

27 Teaching Virtue

Nancy E. Snow (The University of Oklahoma) and Scott Beck (Principal, Norman High School, Oklahoma)

28 Decision-Making Under Moral Uncertainty

Andrew Sepielli (University of Toronto)

29 Public Policy and Philosophical Accounts of Desert

Steven Sverdlik (Southern Methodist University)

30 Religion and Moral Knowledge

C. A. J. Coady (The University of Melbourne, Australia)

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Aaron Zimmerman is Professor of Philosophy at University of California, Santa Barbara, and the author of two books: Moral Epistemology (2010) and Belief: A Pragmatic Picture (2018).

Karen Jones is Senior Lecturer at the University of Melbourne. She has written extensively about trust, what it is, and when it is justified. She is the coeditor, with Francois Schroeter, of The Many Moral Rationalisms (2018). Much of her work is from a feminist perspective.

Mark Timmons is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Arizona. He specializes in Kant’s ethics and metaethics. A collection of his essays on Kant, Significance and System: Essays on Kant’s Ethics was published in 2017. He is currently at work on two books: one on Kant’s doctrine of virtue and another (with Terry Horgan) on moral phenomenology.


"Over the past decade, moral epistemology has become one of the most exciting subfields in philosophy. This handbook provides an unparalleled orientation to many of the diverse and complex current debates in this subfield, including many that are set to further transform our understanding of ethical knowledge in the near future."

-Tristram McPherson, The Ohio State University

"Few stones are left unturned in this highly concise and academic compilation of articles.

In the end, one has the editors and contributors to thank for a magnificent collection of scholarly articles on a subject that has relevance to everyone—and will undoubtedly be a standard reference work for decades to come."

-Jamin A Hübner, Professor and Research Fellow, Rapid City