Rationalism philosophy essay on morality

A striking feature of contemporary human rights scholarship is the extent to which it has turned its back on the idea that human rights can grounded in a theory of human nature. Philosophers, social scientists, and political and legal theorists thus frequently assert that the classical Enlightenment project of supplying a naturalistic foundation for human rights is dead. The main purpose of this contribution to a new book of essays on human rights is to rebut this pervasive skepticism. Drawing on recent work in the cognitive science of moral judgment, I defend one of the critical premises of ancient philosophy, Enlightenment Rationalism and the modern human rights movement alike: that human beings are moral and political animals, who are endowed with a moral faculty or sense of justice. The chapter thereby seeks to offer a new perspective on an old and venerable argument about the naturalistic foundation of human rights.

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In the first half of his essay, Audi distinguishes four approaches to moral epistemology: empiricism, rationalism, intuitionism, and non-cognitivism. In the essay’s second half, Audi further describes intuitionism, distinguishes several subspecies of the view, and argues in favor of a “moderate” form, which countenances both inferential and non-inferential knowledge of common sense moral principles and both inferential and non-inferential knowledge of the moral properties of particular actions.

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But this essay has argued that it is nonetheless a project which is impregnated with the very philosophical ideas about politics, history and society that its architects ought to have sought to escape from. Its architects were conscious of their philosophical problems, but not of their philosophical prejudices. These prejudices were the ideologies that Karl Popper diagnosed and exposed in The Open Society and Its Enemies: historicism, collectivism and irrationalism. Their handmaiden is an anti-democratic politics. His was a diagnosis of the past that is also a diagnosis of our own time. Perhaps it is even a diagnosis for all of time, or at least until the day that the last democratic people of the last Open Society surrender to the ‘strain of civilization’ and are seduced by ‘…an intellectual who convinces them that their existing institutions are not based on the strictest principles of morality’. And indeed, most strikingly in the Brexit debate, if popular commentary is in any way accurate, it is the non-intellectual and non-expert classes who are democracy and the Open Society’s stalwart defenders.

Moral Sentimentalism Against The Ethical Rationalism Moral Sentimentalism Against The Ethical Rationalism Philosophy Essay
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Hot Essays: Essay on Rationalism

In this essay, I respond to ‘s critique of moral rationalism, by showing how a humble rationalism can make sense of the phenomena of moral dumbfounding.

In this essay I will defend rationalism against these ..

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