Indexed on: 10 Jan '20Published on: 10 Jan '20Published in: Philosophia
Richard Rowland (2017, Philosophy Compass, 12(2), 1–16) defends the following principle: if we must suspend judgement about whether it is permissible for us to φ, then it is not permissible for us to φ. He calls this the Epistemic → Metaphysical (EM) principle. This paper considers two challenges to this principle. First, assuming that both conciliationism and EM are true, then in cases where you and your epistemic peers disagree on both the permissibility of φ-ing and the permissibility of refraining from φ-ing, neither φ-ing nor refraining from φ-ing would be permissible. Thus, the view entails that moral dilemmas, which many regard as impossible, are possible. Second, EM is in conflict with the Principle of Decisive Reasons (Kiesewetter 2016, The Philosophical Quarterly, 66(265), 760–782). While EM implies that you may be obligated to φ when it is not permissible for you to believe that you ought to φ, the Principle of Decisive Reasons implies that you ought to φ only if it is permissible for you to believe that you ought to φ. Given those two challenges, I conclude that EM should be rejected.