Moral Perception

Princeton University Press
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We can see a theft, hear a lie, and feel a stabbing. These are morally important perceptions. But are they also moral perceptions--distinctively moral responses? In this book, Robert Audi develops an original account of moral perceptions, shows how they figure in human experience, and argues that they provide moral knowledge. He offers a theory of perception as an informative representational relation to objects and events. He describes the experiential elements in perception, illustrates moral perception in relation to everyday observations, and explains how moral perception justifies moral judgments and contributes to objectivity in ethics.

Moral perception does not occur in isolation. Intuition and emotion may facilitate it, influence it, and be elicited by it. Audi explores the nature and variety of intuitions and their relation to both moral perception and emotion, providing the broadest and most refined statement to date of his widely discussed intuitionist view in ethics. He also distinguishes several kinds of moral disagreement and assesses the challenge it poses for ethical objectivism.

Philosophically argued but interdisciplinary in scope and interest, Moral Perception advances our understanding of central problems in ethics, moral psychology, epistemology, and the theory of the emotions.

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About the author

Robert Audi is John A. O'Brien Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame. His books include Moral Knowledge and Ethical Character, Moral Value and Human Diversity, The Good in the Right (Princeton), and Practical Reasoning and Ethical Decision.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Feb 21, 2013
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Pages
200
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ISBN
9781400846320
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Language
English
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Genres
Philosophy / Epistemology
Philosophy / Ethics & Moral Philosophy
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Robert Audi
This book represents the most comprehensive account to date of an important but widely contested approach to ethics--intuitionism, the view that there is a plurality of moral principles, each of which we can know directly. Robert Audi casts intuitionism in a form that provides a major alternative to the more familiar ethical perspectives (utilitarian, Kantian, and Aristotelian). He introduces intuitionism in its historical context and clarifies--and improves and defends--W. D. Ross's influential formulation. Bringing Ross out from under the shadow of G. E. Moore, he puts a reconstructed version of Rossian intuitionism on the map as a full-scale, plausible contemporary theory.

A major contribution of the book is its integration of Rossian intuitionism with Kantian ethics; this yields a view with advantages over other intuitionist theories (including Ross's) and over Kantian ethics taken alone. Audi proceeds to anchor Kantian intuitionism in a pluralistic theory of value, leading to an account of the perennially debated relation between the right and the good. Finally, he sets out the standards of conduct the theory affirms and shows how the theory can help guide concrete moral judgment.

The Good in the Right is a self-contained original contribution, but readers interested in ethics or its history will find numerous connections with classical and contemporary literature. Written with clarity and concreteness, and with examples for every major point, it provides an ethical theory that is both intellectually cogent and plausible in application to moral problems.

Robert Audi
Democratic states must protect the liberty of citizens and must accommodate both religious liberty and cultural diversity. This democratic imperative is one reason for the increasing secularity of most modern democracies. Religious citizens, however, commonly see a secular state as unfriendly toward religion. This book articulates principles that enable secular governments to protect liberty in a way that judiciously separates church and state and fully respects religious citizens. After presenting a brief account of the relation between religion and ethics, the book shows how ethics can be independent of religion-evidentially autonomous in a way that makes moral knowledge possible for secular citizens--without denying religious sources a moral authority of their own. With this account in view, it portrays a church-state separation that requires governments not only to avoid religious establishment but also to maintain religious neutrality. The book shows how religious neutrality is related to such issues as teaching evolutionary biology in public schools, the legitimacy of vouchers to fund private schooling, and governmental support of "faith-based initiatives." The final chapter shows how the proposed theory of religion and politics incorporates toleration and forgiveness as elements in flourishing democracies. Tolerance and forgiveness are described; their role in democratic citizenship is clarified; and in this light a conception of civic virtue is proposed. Overall, the book advances the theory of liberal democracy, clarifies the relation between religion and ethics, provides distinctive principles governing religion in politics, and provides a theory of toleration for pluralistic societies. It frames institutional principles to guide governmental policy toward religion; it articulates citizenship standards for political conduct by individuals; it examines the case for affirming these two kinds of standards on the basis of what, historically, has been called natural reason; and it defends an account of toleration that enhances the practical application of the ethical framework both in individual nations and in the international realm.
Robert Audi
Epistemology, or “the theory of knowledge,” is concerned with how we know what we know, what justifies us in believing what we believe, and what standards of evidence we should use in seeking truths about the world and human experience.  This comprehensive introduction to the field of epistemology explains the concepts and theories central to understanding knowledge. Along with covering the traditional topics of the discipline in detail, Epistemology explores emerging areas of research.  The third edition features new sections on such topics as the nature of intuition, the skeptical challenge of rational disagreement, and “the value problem” – the range of questions concerning why knowledge and justified true belief have value beyond that of merely true belief.  Updated and expanded, Epistemology remains a superb introduction to one of the most fundamental fields of philosophy.   

Special features of the third edition of Epistemology include:

a comprehensive survey of basic concepts, major theories, and emerging research in the field enhanced treatment of key topics such as contextualism, perception (including perceptual content), scientific hypotheses, self-evidence and the a priori, testimony, understanding, and virtue epistemology expanded discussion of the relation between epistemology and related fields, especially philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, and ethics increased clarity and ease of understanding for an undergraduate audience an updated list of key literature and annotated bibliography.

 

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