Publication Date


Document Type



(1) Rupert Read charges that Rawls culpably overlooks the politicized Euthyphro: Do we accept our political perspective because it is right or is it right because we accept it? (2) This charge brings up the question of the deficiency dilemma: Do others disagree with us because of our failures or theirs? – where the two dilemmas appear to be independent of each other and lead to the questions of the logic of deficiency, moral epistemic deficiency, epistemic peers, and the hardness of philosophy. (3) In reply, on an expanded principle of charity Rawls does not overlook the Euthyphro but rather offers ground-breaking solutions to it, (4) that nonetheless trip on the independent bootstrap (5) – as also do Dreben and Nussbaum. (6) Furthermore, Rawls's ‘burdens of judgment’ seek to bypass the necessity of moral epistemic deficiency and (7) suggest a wider framework for understanding disagreement that sees disagreement as arising from inquiry being in development, unpredictable and uncertain. (8) This wider framework entails that disagreement does not mean moral epistemic deficiency and (9) that our responses to the Euthyphro are ‘too soon to say’.

Original Citation

James, E.W. (2012). Too Soon to Say. Philosophy. 87(3), 421-442.


Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of The Royal Institute of Philosophy.

Included in

Philosophy Commons