Moral Perception and the Contents of Experience

Journal of Moral Philosophy 13 (3):294-317 (2016)
Authors
Preston Werner
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Abstract
I defend the thesis that at least some moral properties can be part of the contents of experience. I argue for this claim using a _contrast argument_, a type of argument commonly found in the literature on the philosophy of perception. I first appeal to psychological research on what I call emotionally empathetic dysfunctional individuals to establish a phenomenal contrast between EEDI s and normal individuals in some moral situations. I then argue that the best explanation for this contrast, assuming non-skeptical moral realism, is that _badness_ is represented in the normal individual’s experience but not in the EEDI ’s experience. I consider and reject four alternative explanations of the contrast.
Keywords moral perception   moral epistemology   metaethics   ethics   moral realism   perception of higher-order properties
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Reprint years 2016
DOI 10.1163/17455243-4681063
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