Moral Experience: Perception or Emotion?

Ethics 132 (3):570-597 (2022)
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Abstract

One solution to the problem of moral knowledge is to claim that we can acquire it a posteriori through moral experience. But what is a moral experience? When we examine the most compelling putative cases, we find features which, I argue, are best explained by the hypothesis that moral experiences are emotions. To preempt an objection, I argue that putative cases of emotionless moral experience can be explained away. Finally, I allay the worry that emotions are an unsuitable basis for moral knowledge. I conclude that those who believe in moral experience should hold that it consists of emotion.

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Author's Profile

James Hutton
Delft University of Technology

References found in this work

“How to Be a Moral Realist.Richard Boyd - 1988 - In G. Sayre-McCord (ed.), Essays on Moral Realism. Cornell University Press. pp. 181-228.
Causation as influence.David Lewis - 2000 - Journal of Philosophy 97 (4):182-197.
Love and knowledge: Emotion in feminist epistemology.Alison M. Jaggar - 1989 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 32 (2):151 – 176.
The Intellectual Given.John Bengson - 2015 - Mind 124 (495):707-760.
The practice of moral judgment.Barbara Herman - 1985 - Journal of Philosophy 82 (8):414-436.

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