Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Mark Johnson: Morality For Humans

His 2014 book titled above and subtitled Ethical Understanding from the Perspective of Cognitive Science can be found here. Here's an excerpt on moral deliberation:

"There is a temptation to regard reflective processes as merely after-the-fact storytelling meant mostly to explain and justify the intuitive processes that are doing the real work. [...] I am going to argue that there is, nonetheless, a key role for a process of moral deliberation that is more than just intuitive, nonconscious judgment, and also more than mere after-the-fact justification by principles. It is a reflective process of deliberation concerning which possible courses of action available in a given morally problematic situation would best harmonize competing impulses, values, and ends. It is an imaginative process inextricably tied to emotion and feeling, but it also makes possible an appropriately critical point of view (or what is today known as 'wide reflective equilibrium'). When a process of moral deliberation achieves a sufficiently broad and comprehensive perspective, we can correctly describe the outcome (in action) of such deliberations as reasonable" (89 - 90).

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