Volume 10, 2008
Moral Epistemology in Islamic Theology
In this paper I will discuss the main approaches of moral epistemology in the major sects of Islamic theology; the Mu’tazilah and Shi‘ite, who formulated rationalistic ethical system between the eighth and tenth centuries, and the Ash‘arites, who developed a voluntaristic system of morality. At first the answer of Mu’tazila and Shi‘ite to the main question of moral epistemology namely the justification of moral beliefs will be discussed and compared with the intuitionism of Western ethics. Secondly the voluntarism of Ash‘arite concerning the moral knowledge will be discussed and rejected.