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Title: Catching the cow's eye : the spectacle as moral reason
Author: Boyce, Raymond Reginald
Awarding Body: Open University
Current Institution: Open University
Date of Award: 2013
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I propose an account of moral perception in which we can sometimes visually perceive certain moral features as those moral features, for example kindness as kindness or cruelty as cruelty, apprehending them immediately rather than inferentially. I claim that this has implications for moral motivation, moral argument and moral creativity. I first explore the nature of 'resultant' features: features that result from certain arrangements of other features taken as a whole (a path may be dangerous by being both steep and slippery). I claim that moral features are resultant features, resulting from arrangements of non-moral properties, and are ineliminable elements of certain kinds of explanation and evaluation of behaviour. I propose a set of sufficient conditions for a feature to be visually perceptible as that feature and argue that for some resultant features under certain circumstances those conditions can be met. Visual experience can include perception of 'resultant' features as single features - we see tables as tables. I claim that we can visually perceive moral features that at least partially consist of arrangements of locally visible non-moral features. I argue that moral perception has consequences for moral motivation because competent application of thick moral concepts requires appropriate responses, including motivation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available