[SydPhil] Robert Audi talk at USYD, Muniment Room (S401), 11am FRI May 27th

David Macarthur david.macarthur at sydney.edu.au
Mon May 16 13:13:54 AEST 2016

Prof. Robert Audi (UNotre Dame, ACU) will be presenting a talk in the Philosophy Department at the University of Sydney on Fri, May 27th.

Title: "Moral Perception: Causal, Ontological, and Epistemic Dimensions"

What is the difference between merely seeing an action that is wrong—something possible for any sighted animal—and having a moralperception of such an action, a phenomenologically distinctive perceptual response that a person with moral sensibility would likely have in seeing a violent act toward an innocent fleeing person? Such wrongs seem quite perceptible, but wrongness is not an “observable” property like color or shape, nor is ‘wrong’ an observation term. This presentation will extend and defend the theory of moral perception set out in my Moral Perception (Princeton, 2013). I will show, using concrete examples, how such perception is possible, how it is like and unlike other kinds of perception, and how it can be a basis for moral knowledge.  One element in the theory draws on an analogy between perception and action. Another element clarifies moral perception by comparison with the perception of emotion.  The theory also takes into account the significance of the perceiver’s “background beliefs” as elements potentially biasing moral perception, and it clarifies the sense in which perception can be responsive to complex information without being tacitly inferential. The talk should interest people concerned with ethics and value theory, with the philosophy and psychology of perception, or with the scope and basis of knowledge.
Time: 11am

Place: Muniment Room, S401 (upstairs under the clock tower)

All welcome!

Assoc. Professor David Macarthur
Philosophy Department, SOPHI | FASS
The University of Sydney, NSW, 2006 | Australia

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