Lori Watson is the Director of Women's and Gender Studies and is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of San Diego. She has published essays on Rawls and feminism as well as pornography. She is currently working on a book with Christie Hartley on feminist political liberalism.
COMMENTS ON MICHAEL SLOTE'S MORAL SENTIMENTALISM
Article first published online: 1 SEP 2011
© 2011 The University of Memphis
The Southern Journal of Philosophy
Special Issue: Spindel Supplement: Empathy and Ethics
Volume 49, Issue Supplement s1, pages 142–147, September 2011
How to Cite
WATSON, L. (2011), COMMENTS ON MICHAEL SLOTE'S MORAL SENTIMENTALISM. The Southern Journal of Philosophy, 49: 142–147. doi: 10.1111/j.2041-6962.2011.00063.x
- Issue published online: 1 SEP 2011
- Article first published online: 1 SEP 2011
I present two challenges to the theory of moral sentimentalism that Michael Slote defends in his book. The first challenge aims to show that there are cases in which we empathize with an agent and yet judge her actions to be morally wrong. If such cases are plausible, then we have good reason to doubt Slote's claim that moral judgments are an affective attitude of warmth or chill and, thus, are purely sentiments. The second challenge is more of a suggestion. At the end of my paper, I suggest that perhaps one important role that empathy plays in our moral phenomenology is to mitigate the scope of our moral judgments. If this is right, it tells not only against Slote's account but against moral sentimentalist approaches more broadly.