In Search of Moral Knowledge: Overcoming the Fact-Value Split

Bibliographic information:

Smith, R. Scott. In Search of Moral Knowledge: Overcoming the Fact-Value Split. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2014.



For most of western history, people have understood ethical principles and virtues as normative, objectively real, and universally applicable. Recently, however, this view has been lost, thanks to naturalism, relativism, and postmodernism. R. Scott Smith argues that we should reject the deeply held fact-value dichotomy and recover genuine moral – and theological – knowledge.

The book not only argues for knowledge in moral and religious/theological matters, but also shows that knowledge based on naturalism is impossible. Thus, the fact-value split is false. Moreover, we can (and often do) have knowledge in all these areas, but that means a radically different ontology must be real – one that, Smith argues, is best explained by the Christian God’s existence.


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