Journal of Scottish Philosophy 7 (2):177-192 (2009)
The name of Thomas Reid rarely appears in discussions of the history of moral thought. This is a pity, since Reid has a lot of interesting ideas that can contribute to the current discussions in meta-ethics. Reid can be understood as an ethical intuitionist. What makes his account especially interesting is the role affective states play in his intuitionist theory. Reid defends a cognitive theory of moral emotions. According to Reid, there are moral feelings that are the result of a moral judgment made by reason. The judgment and the feeling together constitute what Reid calls sentiments. Reid thinks that affective states (feelings and sentiments) play the role of helping reason to guide and control the egoistic feelings and passions. The affective states are particularly important, in Reid's view, because the motivating force of reason is often defeated by the stronger motivating force of the passions. So without affective states, we would often not be able to do what is morally good or right. In this paper, I will argue that the role of the affective states is still too limited in Reid's approach. He takes affective states to have a merely motivational function, namely, to help reason to control the passions and motivate to action where reason is too weak. Reid thinks that in making moral judgments we do not need to have feelings, feelings are at most a result of a judgment. Instead, I will argue that affective states also play an epistemological role
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
References found in this work BETA
Love's Knowledge: Essays on Philosophy and Literature.Martha Craven Nussbaum - 1990 - Oxford University Press.
Emotion and Moral Judgment.Linda Zagzebski - 2003 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 66 (1):104–124.
Citations of this work BETA
Reid's Moral Psychology: Animal Motives as Guides to Virtue.Esther Kroeker - 2011 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 41 (Supplement 1):122-141.
Similar books and articles
Reid on Consciousness: Hop, Hot or For?Rebecca Copenhaver - 2007 - Philosophical Quarterly 57 (229):613-634.
Thomas Reid on Active Power and Free Agency.Xiangdong Xu - 2011 - Frontiers of Philosophy in China 6 (3):369-389.
Thomas Reid's Philosophy of Mind: Consciousness and Intentionality.Rebecca Copenhaver - 2006 - Philosophy Compass 1 (3):279-289.
Common Sense and the Theory of Human Behaviour.Ferenc Huoranszki - 2002 - Philosophical Quarterly 52 (209):526-543.
A Puzzle Regarding Reid's Theory of Motives.Terence Cuneo - 2011 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 19 (5):963-981.
Intuitionism's Burden: Thomas Reid on the Problem of Moral Motivation.Terence Cuneo - 2008 - Journal of Scottish Philosophy 6 (1):21-44.
Added to index2010-07-11
Total downloads34 ( #151,172 of 2,169,144 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #345,568 of 2,169,144 )
How can I increase my downloads?