Researcher ORCID Identifier
Date of Submission
Campus Only Senior Thesis
Bachelor of Arts
Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE)
We are constantly faced with the possibility that we might be wrong about empirical facts and tend to take this into account when making decisions, especially those that may affect others. This rarely extends, however, into the ethical sphere: few of us are willing to admit that we may also be wrong about what is good. The following thesis argues that we ought to take normative uncertainty seriously and that the problems it presents cannot be resolved by reaching for certainty at the metaethical level. Instead, we can look to the way that narrative fundamentally structures our practical reasons, actions, and agency. This allows us to reject ethical theories that fail to take narrative structure into account, as well as motivates some substantive commitments about the kinds of society we have reasons to promote. Ultimately, through an account of normative uncertainty and narrative understanding, I hope to defend a kind of humility in our ethical and political convictions that encourages us to enrich our collective narratives through interpersonal and practical engagement rather than insisting on any single ethical theory.
McAnally, Benjamin, "Uncertain Stories: Implications of Normative Uncertainty and Narrative Understanding" (2021). CMC Senior Theses. 2642.
This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.