Variability and moral phenomenology


Authors
Michael B. Gill
University of Arizona
Abstract
Many moral philosophers in the Western tradition have used phenomenological claims as starting points for philosophical inquiry; aspects of moral phenomenology have often been taken to be anchors to which any adequate account of morality must remain attached. This paper raises doubts about whether moral phenomena are universal and robust enough to serve the purposes to which moral philosophers have traditionally tried to put them. Persons’ experiences of morality may vary in a way that greatly limits the extent to which moral phenomenology can constitute a reason to favor one moral theory over another. Phenomenology may not be able to serve as a pre-theoretic starting point or anchor in the consideration of rival moral theories because moral phenomenology may itself be theory-laden. These doubts are illustrated through an examination of how moral phenomenology is used in the thought of Ralph Cudworth, Samuel Clarke, Joseph Butler, Francis Hutcheson, and Søren Kierkegaard
Keywords Moral phenomenology  Variability  Ralph Cudworth  Samuel Clarke  Joseph Butler  Francis Hutcheson  Søren Kierkegaard
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DOI 10.1007/s11097-007-9069-8
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References found in this work BETA

Moral Luck.Bernard Williams - 1976 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 50:115-35.
Morality: Its Nature and Justification.Bernard Gert - 1998 - Oxford University Press.
Fear and Trembling.Søren Kierkegaard - 1986 - Cambridge University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Moral Experience: Its Existence, Describability, and Significance.Uriah Kriegel - forthcoming - In C. Erhard and T. Keiling (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Phenomenology of Agency. London and New York: Routledge.
Kant on Moral Sensibility and Moral Motivation.Owen Ware - 2014 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 52 (4):727-746.
The Phenomenologically Manifest.Uriah Kriegel - 2007 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 6 (1-2):115-136.

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