The importance of rationality

Hastings Center Report 43 (1):3 (2013)
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Abstract
Michael Hauskeller (“Reflections from a Troubled Stream: Giubliani and Minerva on ‘After-Birth Abortion’) has recently suggested that we should resist rationalist tendencies in moral discourse: “[I]s not all morality ultimately irrational? Even the most strongly held moral convictions can be shown to lack a rational basis.” (Hauskeller 2012, p. 18) Hauskeller was responding to Alberto Giubliani and Francesca Minverva’s (2012) recent defense of the permissibility of killing infants, but his anti-rationality arguments have wide-reaching implications. Yet pace Hauskeller, rationality is indeed of crucial importance to any ethical argument. We should not abandon rationality for the sake of refuting one discomforting hypothesis; instead, rationality must be rigorously employed, here and elsewhere, in the search for the truth.
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Archival date: 2017-10-23
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