Fallibility and Insight in Moral Judgment

Human Studies 36 (2):259-275 (2013)
Abstract
This article investigates the relationship between moral judgments, fallibility, and imaginative insight. It will draw heavily from the canon of classical American philosophy, the members of which (from Ralph Waldo Emerson, to C.S. Peirce, E.L. Cabot, to Jane Addams, to John Dewey) took up this relationship as pivotally important in moral theorizing. It argues that the process of hypothesis formation—characterized as “insight” by Emerson and extended by Peirce in his notion of “abduction”—is a necessary condition of moral progress for it allows individuals to think through the boundaries of social and ethical life. In a world of unexpected occurrences and uncertainty, the ability to generate novel explanatory frameworks and normative ideals is a crucial, if normally underappreciated, moral faculty. This paper attempts to respond to this relative neglect
Keywords Ethics  Abduction  Peirce  Fallibility  Insight  Moral progress
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References found in this work BETA
Douglas R. Anderson (1987). Creativity and the Philosophy of C.S. Peirce. Distributors for the U.S. And Canada, Kluwer Academic Publishers.
William James (1895). Is Life Worth Living? International Journal of Ethics 6 (1):1-24.

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