Ethics are a deeply political category. Since they are always concerned with right and wrong and attendant standards of conduct, ethics are often associated with issues of power, governance, and justice. Questions within the category of ethics have often been saddled with problems of knowledge. Understanding how we ought to act is frequently obstructed by the difficulties in meeting the stringent standards of knowledge, which is considered to be more demanding than belief, opinion, or faith. The difficulty in meeting even lenient criteria for authentic knowing can call into question the necessity, or even the advisability, of acting ethically. The very possibility of ethics is jeopardized by the seeming absence of epistemological foundations. If our claims to knowledge are tenuous or, as skeptics suggest, unfounded, building knowledge of right and wrong is sharply hazardous.
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