Does moral action depend on reasoning?

This is the sixth Big Question, launched by the John Templeton Foundation, along with thirteen views on it presented by several important scholars. Just to cite a few: Stanley Fish, Christine M. Korsgaard, Joshua D. Greene, Jonathan Sacks, Jean Bethke Elshtain, and Antonio Damasio. The material can be found here.

What is (or should be) the role of reason in discerning the morally right from the morally wrong? And from what perspective should we address this problem? Some will argue that we have to search for the answer through philosophical inquiry. Others will endorse a more empirical approach, believing in the advancements of the neurosciences as a source for knowledge about moral behavior.

Both views, and the ones in between, are quite appealing – especially when presented by such brilliant minds. So it is really worth taking a look at what they have to say!

Curiosity as a Vice?

Moral philosophy has been recently shifting its attention to a classical view on ethics – virtue ethics. Kant, Hume, Mill and others – each on his own way; contributed to the modern ethical concern: what is the right thing to do? On the other hand, Aristotle and his contemporaries were concerned about something else: what makes a man a “good” man?
In the re-emergence of virtue ethics, how to categorize the character trace of curiosity? Stanley Fish raises the debate in this recent post in The New York Times.
The categorization of curiosity as a moral vice or moral virtue seems to lie in the threshold of the ongoing divergences between science and religion Continue reading “Curiosity as a Vice?”

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