Speaker: Thomas Schmidt, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Titel: Moral Equivalences

Abstract: The objective of the talk is to introduce a notion of morally equivalent situations and to campaign for its theoretical fruitfulness. My starting point will be the observation that subscribing to a moral theory commits one to hold that certain situations are such that there are no morally relevant differences between them, that they are, in other words, morally equivalent. This is why each moral theory implies that and how the set of all possible situations can be carved up into moral equivalence classes. I will argue, with regard to specific examples and in general, that the most significant parts of the content of a moral theory can be represented in terms of the moral equivalence classes which it induces. I will then show that the possibility of doing so sheds light on matters in normative ethics as well as in moral epistemology.