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The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 1, 2007

Ethics

Harun Tepe
Pages 25-30
DOI: 10.5840/wcp2120071271

Epistemological Dilemmas of Contemporary Ethics

Contemporary ethics has often faced questions concerning its epistemological foundations. Thus epistemological problems of ethics have become a main interest in ethics, and ethics has begun to be considered mainly as meta-ethics or analytical ethics, mainly dealing with the foundation of ethical propositions or norms. However questions raised about the foundation of ethics have mostly ended in dilemmas. Today, moral dilemmas or epistemological dilemmas of ethics pose a challenge to contemporary ethics in the form of questions like "Is ethics normative?", "Is there any ethical knowledge?", "Are the statements of ethics bearers of truth-values? (these questions relate to what 1 call the Normativity Dilemma); and questions like "Are ethical judgements objective?", "Are values part of the world, out there, in the way that physical objects are?" (these questions relate to what 1 call the Objectivity Dilemma); and questions like "Is there any criterion to see which principles are correct?", "Do we have good reasons to do what is right?", "Can acting ethical ever be justified?" (these questions relate to what 1 call the Justification Dilemma). Are these dilemmas that are said to be epistemological genuine dilemmas, or are they only supposed to be so? In this paper I will tackle the epistemological foundations of these dilemmas and try to demonstrate that there are fallacies involved in them.