Free moral realism papers, essays, and research papers.
Essays on Moral Realism - Cornell University Press
Moral realism, as this idea is called, is too rich for many philosophers’ blood. Yet a diluted version of the idea — if not a list of cosmically inscribed Thou-Shalts, then at least a few If-Thens — is not crazy. Two features of reality point any rational, self-preserving social agent in a moral direction. And they could provide a benchmark for determining when the judgments of our moral sense are aligned with morality itself.
Essays on Moral Realism - Google Books
With remorse or guilt, at least two components are present: theexperiential component, namely, the negative feeling that theagent has; and the cognitive component, namely, the beliefthat the agent has done something wrong and takes responsibility forit. Although this same cognitive component is not part of regret, thenegative feeling is. And the experiential component alone cannot serveas a gauge to distinguish regret from remorse, for regret can rangefrom mild to intense, and so can remorse. In part, what distinguishesthe two is the cognitive component. But now when we examine the case ofan alleged dilemma, such as that of Sartre's student, it isquestion-begging to assert that it is appropriate for him to experienceremorse no matter what he does. No doubt, it is appropriate for him toexperience some negative feeling. To say, however, that it isremorse that is called for is to assume that the agent appropriatelybelieves that he has done something wrong. Since regret is warrantedeven in the absence of such a belief, to assume that remorse isappropriate is to assume, not argue, that the agent'ssituation is genuinely dilemmatic. Opponents of dilemmas can say thatone of the requirements overrides the other, or that the agent faces adisjunctive requirement, and that regret is appropriate because evenwhen he does what he ought to do, some bad will ensue. Either side,then, can account for the appropriateness of some negative moralemotion. To get more specific, however, requires more than is warrantedby the present argument. This appeal to moral residue, then, does notestablish the reality of moral dilemmas.