Does Direct Moral Judgment Have a Phenomenal Essence?

Journal of Moral Philosophy 10 (1):52-69 (2013)

Authors
Joshua Glasgow
Sonoma State University
Abstract
Moral phenomenology has enjoyed a resurgence lately, and within the field, a trend has emerged: uniform rejection of the idea that the experience of making ‘direct’ moral judgments has any phenomenal essence, that is, any phenomenal property or properties that are always present and that distinguish these experiences from experiences of making non-direct- moral judgments. This article examines existing arguments for this anti-essentialism and finds them wanting. While acknowledging that phenomenological reflection is an unstable pursuit, it is maintained here that phenomenological essentialism about a certain domain of direct moral judgment, namely direct judgment of obligation and prohibition, is more credible than has been recognized. The positive proposal is to rehabilitate something close to Maurice Mandelbaum’s essentialism, specifically to maintain that direct moral judgment ’s phenomenal essence is arguably its felt categorical demand. The key to making this argument is to assume a ‘rich view’ of moral consciousness, the view that phenomenal features of moral judgment might be present even when they are not attended to. This assumption is controversial, but it is warranted by two considerations. First, though controversial, the rich view is intuitively plausible. Second, it reveals that the existing arguments against the kind of essentialism defended here appear to tacitly presuppose an equally controversial – and arguably less intuitive – rejection of the rich view
Keywords Mandelbaum   moral judgment   Sinnott-Armstrong   Horgan   moral phenomenology   Timmons   rich view
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1163/174552412X628841
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 44,455
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Morality as a System of Hypothetical Imperatives.Philippa Foot - 1972 - Philosophical Review 81 (3):305-316.
Errors and the Phenomology of Value.Simon Blackburn - 1985 - In Thomas L. Carson & Paul K. Moser (eds.), Morality and the Good Life. Oxford University Press. pp. 324--337.

View all 14 references / Add more references

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.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Prolegomena to a Future Phenomenology of Morals.Terry Horgan & Mark Timmons - 2008 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 7 (1):115-131.
A Defense of Descriptive Moral Content.Jeff Wisdom - 2009 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 47 (3):285-300.
Is Moral Phenomenology Unified?Walter Sinnott-Armstrong - 2008 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 7 (1):85-97.
Problems for Sinnott-Armstrong's Moral Contrastivism.Peter Baumann - 2008 - Philosophical Quarterly 58 (232):463–470.
Non-Inferential Moral Knowledge.Elizabeth Tropman - 2011 - Acta Analytica 26 (4):355-366.
Beyond Moral Judgment.Alice Crary - 2007 - Harvard University Press.
Moral Intuitionism Defeated?Nathan Ballantyne & Joshua C. Thurow - 2013 - American Philosophical Quarterly 50 (4):411-422.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2013-11-24

Total views
26 ( #338,883 of 2,272,578 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #409,116 of 2,272,578 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature