Philosophy Ph.D. Dissertations


Inference and Justification in Ethics

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Philosophy, Applied

First Advisor

Christian Coons (Advisor)

Second Advisor

Michael Weber (Committee Member)

Third Advisor

Michael Bradie (Committee Member)

Fourth Advisor

Daniel Fasko (Committee Member)


We all say that certain moral views – true or false, agreed to or not – are reasonable, rational or justified. When we say this, we mean, roughly, that the agent who has come to these views has answered her ethical questions in a responsible way and that her beliefs are defensible from her own perspective. Whether or not these beliefs turn out true, they have some epistemic merit. This work is an investigation into that notion of epistemic merit. It asks, "What makes a moral belief justified?"