Volume 20, Issue 2, 2020
Marcus William Hunt
Could Anyone Know Every Moral Truth?
To begin to answer the question of whether every moral truth could be known by any one individual, this paper examines David Chalmers’ views on the scrutability of moral truths in Constructing the World. Chalmers deals with the question of the scrutability of moral truths ecumenically, claiming that moral truths are scrutable on all plausible metaethical views. I raise two objections to Chalmers’ approach. The first objection is that he conflates the claim that moral truths are scrutable from PQTI with the claim that moral truths are scrutable from non-moral truths. The upshot of this objection is that Chalmers has not in fact shown the scrutability of moral truths from the scrutability base from which he proposed to do so, PQTI. The second objection concerns his handling of moral sensibility theory, which fails to take into account certain features of the emotions—features which generate what I term synchronic and diachronic emotional co-instantiation problems. The upshot of this objection is that we have good reason to deny that any one individual could ascertain all moral truths, if moral sensibility theory is true, no matter how idealized the emoter.