Christine Bratu, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
08. Januar 2020 16:45 – 18:45 Uhr Raum 2i NIG
On the Impossibility of Doxatic Morality
Abstract: Recently, some philosophers have claimed that there is such a thing as doxastic morality and, more specifically, that we can wrong each other simply in virtue of the beliefs we have about each other. Rima Basu, who is one of the most prominent proponents of this claim, justifies it by pointing to cases of racist or sexist beliefs. According to Basu, such beliefs appear to be morally problematic and one way to cash out this intuition is to assume that we have epistemic duties (i.e. duties to believe or refrain from believing) which are morally grounded and that racist or sexist beliefs violate these duties. Even though I wholeheartedly share Basu’s intuition that racist or sexist beliefs are morally wrong, in the first part of my talk I will argue that we should reject her claim as it violates an important tenet of liberal moral philosophy. For if we assume, as I think we should, that we have freedom of thought, there is no conceptual room for doxastic wronging. In the second part of my talk, I will discuss other ways to spell out what’s morally wrong with racist or sexist beliefs.