Knowledgeofmoralphil Concepts


AQA Philosophy A2 Level

Moral Philosophy

How do people justify their actions? How do we understand truth and the application to morality? If truth is external to the individual how do we respond to it? If truth is internal from the individual how we know what is really true? How should we apply these to moral situation?

This part of the course will look at the concept that moral concepts can be understood as being objective. These moral concepts are external to the individual. We need to take account of how the individual is to then respond to these moral truths.

  Text Box: Morals exist outside individual

What types of moral truths are there?

5. How is knowledge of moral truth possible?

Key themes


  • Different answers when considering how knowledge is possible
  • Naturalistic – we can know about natural properties empirically
  • No issue gathering data but need to establish connection between moral properties and relevant natural facts. Not a matter of empirical debate but philosophical reasoning 
  • For example we do not gain our mathematical truths through empirical evidence searches. We gain it through rationalism and insight.
  • Cognitivists recognise that we cannot just use rational thought – we need to recognise the importance of experience and moral development.
    • Self evident judgments – evidence of its own plausibility. We need to think about these issues – so self evident is not obvious but it is self-contained.
      • Issue whether people agree they are self contained or not
      • Reasons for believing them will not be as conclusive as considering the claim itself
    • Reflexive equilibrium – ideas are considered through reasoning and then considered within a framework of thought and ideas before being accepted.
      • We reject what seems implausible to us as we appeal to the overall coherence through intuition and reflection.