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Document Details :

Title: Awareness of Unawareness
Subtitle: Are Moral Judgments Illusory?
Author(s): DANCÁK, Daniel
Journal: Ethical Perspectives
Volume: 26    Issue: 2   Date: 2019   
Pages: 241-269
DOI: 10.2143/EP.26.2.3286750

Abstract :
This article tracks certain discussion in metaethics concerning the relationship between moral intuitions and moral reasoning. While some maintain the view that moral reasoning is not much more than the subsequent rationalization of an already present intuitive response, others argue that although moral judgments are triggered intuitively, such intuitions are not merely rationalized but rather endorsed on the basis of a more or less conscious reflection. The problem that has not received much explicit attention is whether people are aware that moral judgments work this way, or whether they believe that reasoning leading to a reflective endorsement is the actual cause of their judgments. I review the major evidence in support of the latter option and suggest that it is much more problematic. The evidence in question rests on the observation that verbal reports on mental processes are pervasively incorrect, thus demonstrating that people’s capacity to introspect their mental processes is rather limited. Nevertheless, people tend to make up explanations believing them to be based on actual introspection. I argue that there are cases in which people are clearly aware of their introspective incapability. Even when they are not, it does not follow that they believe that the explanation they provide is based on ntrospection. This applies especially to moral judgments, since people explain their moral judgments in terms of justification, more or less independently of causation. Moreover, there are reasons to believe that people also think of moral judgments privately this way.

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