Giovanni Velasquez Prof. Sechman
Giovanni VelasquezProf. SechmanPHIL 10007/23/18Midterm paperP1) We can infer outer emotions by analysis using our thoughts.P2) We can believe that those emotions are real.P3) What we can’t believe is if the thing displaying emotions is a real human.C) Knowing if someone has a rich inner life is beside the point, because you can’t tell if you’re associating with a robot or human.This account follows the metaethical view known as Moral Realism, which states that there are moral facts. These moral facts are objective, independent of one’s perception of it, and of their beliefs, feelings, or attitude towards the claim. Two variants of moral realism – Ethical Naturalism and Ethical Non-Naturalism – differ in their claim of where one might find the answer to moral claims. Naturalists believe that moral knowledge can be found in natural properties, in the same way scientists find scientific knowledge. Non-Naturalists disagree with this concept. This view of ethical non-naturalism aligns with my description of moral claims. Ethical non-naturalists state that moral claims cannot be made by appealing to a definition in terms of natural properties, therefore these properties cannot provide moral knowledge. So how can we find the answer to moral claims? We turn to a variant of ethical non-naturalism, known as Ethical Intuitionism, for this answer. Moral judgements describe moral facts, which are certain. However, many believe that ultimately, we have no way of knowing these facts, and subsequently we have no way of justifying moral beliefs. Ethical Intuitionism rejects this notion, and claims humans can find answers to moral claims using intuition. Intuitionism explains that human beings have an intuitive awareness of certain moral facts and truths known as ‘moral intuition’. This faculty of moral intuition is sometimes referred to as our conscience. Moral intuition is a mental process, often described as a perceptual characterization of moral knowledge. However, Intuitionists do not suggest that perception and moral knowledge and instantaneous, rather, perceptions are the foundation. Intuitions are ‘intellectual seeming’ – they are the intellectual analogue of perceptual seeming and experiences. Therefore, moral intuition can be found through intellectual analogue of our perceptions. It is important to note that I am not claiming that everyone has moral intuition, rather that moral intuition is attainable. Many of us have perceptions which we simply disregard, or our perceptions may be limited due to our environment.
Intuitionists also accept that intuition is fallible – intuition is not immediately present in each situation. Moral intuitions can be misinterpreted or unclear initially. However, the intuitionists’ view of moral properties makes the important distinction between associating our intuition with the belief based on it, and urges us to analyze the intellectual seemings those beliefs are based on. It is these intellectual seemings which allow us to achieve moral intuition – adequate attention, analysis, and analogue of perceptual experiences is essential in achieving moral intuition that leads to moral judgement. Critics of Intuitionism often disagree with the views of Moral Realism and Ethical Non-Naturalism which is it based upon. The most notable objection addresses intuition directly. Philosopher Matthew Bedke demonstrates this objection – he argues that it would be a “cosmic coincidence” that our intuitions can reliably produce moral facts. (Bedke 2009) Bedke points to the intuitionists’ claim that moral facts are non-natural properties, and intuitions are mental states which are part of the natural world. However, non-natural properties are causally inert. The objection then declares that it is illogical to think intuition could track moral facts because they are causally isolated. While this objection is compelling in its attempt to isolate morality from the natural world, thus claiming they are causally inert. However, the objection is seriously flawed. Consider, for example, someone who is tortured. Obviously, the wrongness of the torture did not stop the person from doing it, so the wrongness was inert. However, it is the act of torture that makes it wrong, and the action is not inert. Rather, the perceptual experience of seeing the action or hearing about the action causes any normal person to analogue this action as morally wrong. Thus, creating a moral belief from which moral judgements can be made. This example clearly disproves the objection that intuition and moral facts are causally isolated.