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Moral Cognitivism and Character

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Abstract:

Abstract

It may seem to follow from Peter Winch's claim in ‘The Universalizability of Moral Judgements’ that a certain class of first-person moral judgments are not universalizable that such judgments cannot be given a cognitivist interpretation. But Winch's argument does not involve the denial of moral cognitivism and in this paper I show how such judgements may be cognitively determined yet not universalizable. Drawing on an example from James Joyce's The Dead, I suggest that in the kind of situation Winch envisages where we properly return a different moral judgement to another agent it may be that we accept their judgement is right for them because we recognise that it is determined by values that, simply because of the particular people we are, we could never know or understand in just the same way.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9205.2005.00256.x

Publication date: July 1, 2005

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