Date of this Version
Ethics Jul 2015, Volume 125, Issue 4, pp. 1194 - 1199
There is one final worry about bringing emotions into a theory of moral perception that might be best drawn out with an analogy to nonmoral perception. Suppose we were beings with a slightly different nonmoral perceptual apparatus. Suppose phenomenal qualia that we typically experience when we observe objects also showed up in our cognitive life when we weren’t experiencing the presence of an object. Basically, we would periodically have apparent perceptions of objects when there were no objects. Furthermore, suppose we could know that this was sometimes the case. I suspect we would feel rational pressure to be a bit more skeptical about our nonmoral judgments based on perception.
One might argue that we’re kind of in that situation if our moral perception apparatus includes an emotional component. We often experience emotions when there is nothing moral about the situation we’re in, and so by analogy to the perception case, we might think that we should be a bit more skeptical about moral judgments. A possible virtue of a moral perception view that didn’t make emotions a component of the view might not have to address this worry, but if emotions are indeed an important part of Audi’s moral perception theory, then it is worth asking why we shouldn’t take ourselves to have some defeaters for moral beliefs.
The official topic of John Broome’s Rationality through Reasoning is the “motivation question”: How does the belief that you ought to do something cause you to intend to do that thing? And indeed, the parts of the book do combine to offer an answer to that question. But, as Broome himself suggests, much of the interest comes from the steps along the way. The book greatly expands and develops Broome’s earlier work, drawing rich connections throughout ðaddressing how ought figures in requirements of rationality, how reasons may be defined in terms of ought, whether there is reason to be rational, how rationality is connected to the process of reasoning, etc.Þ. This review considers Broome’s account of four main concepts in turn: ought, reasons, rationality, and reasoning.