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Good news for moral error theorists : a master argument against companions in guilt strategies.

Cowie, Christopher (2016) 'Good news for moral error theorists : a master argument against companions in guilt strategies.', Australasian journal of philosophy., 94 (1). pp. 115-130.


Moral error theories are often rejected by appeal to ‘companions in guilt’ arguments. The most popular form of companions in guilt argument takes epistemic reasons for belief as a ‘companion’ and proceeds by analogy. I show that this strategy fails. I claim that the companions in guilt theorist must understand epistemic reasons as evidential support relations if her argument is to be dialectically effective. I then present a dilemma. Either epistemic reasons are evidential support relations or they are not. If they are not, then the companions in guilt argument fails. If they are, then a reduction of epistemic reasons to evidential support relations becomes available and, consequently, epistemic reasons cease to be a viable ‘companion’ for moral reasons. I recommend this structure of argument over existing strategies within the literature and defend my claims against recent objections from companions in guilt theorists.

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Australasian journal of philosophy on 24 March 2015, available online:
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:25 August 2020
Date of first online publication:24 March 2015
Date first made open access:25 August 2020

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