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Naturalized Virtue Ethics and the Epistemological Gap

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The proponent of the epistemological gap maintains that value claims are justified in a different way than are nonvalue claims. I show that a neo-Aristotelian naturalized virtue ethics does not fall prey to this gap. There are ethical claims concerning human beings that are epistemically justified in a way logically identical to the way in which are justified certain nonethical claims about human and nonhuman organisms. This demonstration (1) lends credibility to naturalized virtue ethics, (2) calls into question the very notion of an epistemological gap, and (3) confronts antinaturalists with a dilemma.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Theology and Philosophy, Briar Cliff University, 3303 Rebecca St, Sioux City, IA 51104, USA, Email: browns@briarcliff.edu

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