Merleau-Ponty, Moral Perception, and Metaethical Internalism

Journal of Speculative Philosophy 34 (3):265-273 (2020)
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Abstract

Two of the most basic commitments of virtue ethics, both ancient and contemporary, are that virtue is knowledge and that this knowledge is a kind of moral sensitivity that is best understood on the model of perception. On this account, the virtuous agent perceives moral goodness and badness in something like the way we perceive that a smiling person is happy or that a raging bull is dangerous. This is opposed to the more widely held view of moral experience, according to which perception informs us only of nonmoral states of affairs; the specifically moral content of the experience, on this view, comes either from distinct pro or con attitudes toward those states of affairs or from general principles that we apply...

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Bryan Lueck
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

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