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Emotions and Morality: is Cognitive Science a Recipe for Ethical Relativism?

Massimo Reichlin


Discussing Jesse Prinz’s views on metaethics, the author argues (1) that, as far as epistemic emotionism is concerned, this account does not demonstrate that the right order of causation proceed in all cases from emotions to judgments; does not disprove the possibility of dispassionate judgments; has no persuasive explanation of the distinction between moral and conventional rules; cannot account for autistic morality; and 2) that, as far as metaphysical emotionism is concerned, this account offers a much too deflationary account of moral disagreement. The latter can be best understood within an objectivistic account of the facts (including pro-attitudes such as emotions and sentiments) that provide the best reasons for action.


epistemic emotionism; metaphysical emotionism; Prinz; ethical relativism;

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