Nietzsche and Murdoch on the Moral Significance of Perceptual Experience

European Journal of Philosophy 26 (1):525-545 (2018)
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: This paper examines a claim defended by an unlikely pair: Friedrich Nietzsche and Iris Murdoch. The claim is that perceptual experience itself—as distinct from perceptually based judgments and beliefs—can be morally significant. In particular, Nietzsche and Murdoch hold that two agents in the same circumstances attending to the same objects can have experiences with different contents, depending on the concepts that they possess and employ. Moreover, they maintain that this renders perception an object of moral concern. This paper explicates these claims, examines the way in which we might distinguish between better and worse perceptual experiences, and argues that if some version of the Murdochian/Nietzschean claim is accepted, then certain influential accounts of moral epistemology and agency must be rejected.
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Virtue and Reason.McDowell, John

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