This is the first in our new series of featured philosophers. Many more to come. For the schedule look here.
Ambitious Moral Perceptualism and Moral Knowledge from the Armchair
by Preston Werner
For a few years, I’ve been defending the view that all moral justification (realistically construed) bottoms out in the perceptual experience of moral properties.
There are many discussed objections to what I call the Ambitious Perceptualist view. Here, I want to think through some half-baked ideas about the relationship between Perceptualism and the role of thought experiments in moral deliberation and normative theorizing.
We (justifiably) use thought experiments in normative theorizing. But, the thought goes, this is not so for other domains whose epistemologies bottom out in perception. As Michael Milona (2018) puts it:
“[W]ith [empirical inquiry], we rely on actual experiments, evaluative inquiry only seems to require thought experiments…A theory which denies the possibility of evaluative knowledge by mere reflection is going to be highly revisionary; and many would rightly count such a commitment as a serious strike against the theory.” (more…)