Why conceptual competence won’t help the non-naturalist epistemologist

Preston J. Werner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Non-naturalist normative realists face an epistemological objection: They must explain how their preferred route of justification ensures a non-accidental connection between justified moral beliefs and the normative truths. One strategy for meeting this challenge begins by pointing out that we are semantically or conceptually competent in our use of the normative terms, and then argues that this competence guarantees the non-accidental truth of some of our first-order normative beliefs. In this paper, I argue against this strategy by illustrating that this competence based strategy undermines the non-naturalist’s ability to capture the robustly normative content of our moral beliefs.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)616-637
Number of pages22
JournalCanadian Journal of Philosophy
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 4 Jul 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Canadian Journal of Philosophy.


  • Conceptual competence
  • metasemantics
  • moral belief
  • moral epistemology
  • moral knowledge
  • non-naturalism


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