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Justification and Moral Cognitivism: An Analysis of Jürgen Habermas's Metaethics
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In this thesis, I scrutinise and interpret Jürgen Habermas’s claim that justification of moral norms necessitates cognitivism. I do this by analysing the general idea behind his discourse theory of morality and then his metaethics. From there, I examine the non-cognitivist theory called prescriptivism as set out by Richard Hare to see if his account of moral reasoning is able to counter Habermas’s claims and thereafter, I examine some criticism against his concept of communicative action. I also engage with the discussion on how to define cognitivism: that is, whether the line should be drawn between moral realism on the cognitivist side, and constructivism on the other, or if cognitivism can include constructivist theories too. I propose that it should, provided that it allows moral statements to be truth-apt and express a mental state like that of belief. Following this definition, I argue that Habermas can be labelled a cognitivist and finally, I conclude that Habermas's argument does not hold under scrutiny.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 68
Keywords [en]
Habermas, cognitivism, metaethics, justification, human rights
Keywords [sv]
Habermas, kognitivism, metaetik, etisk teori, berättigande, mänskliga rättigheter
National Category
Philosophy, Ethics and Religion
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-351646OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-351646DiVA, id: diva2:1210641
Subject / course
Human Rights
Educational program
Master Programme in Human Rights
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2018-05-29 Created: 2018-05-29 Last updated: 2018-05-29Bibliographically approved

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Elfström, Johan - Justification and Moral Cognitivism(596 kB)71 downloads
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CiteExportLink to record
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  • apa
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