This introductory chapter discusses how perception figures in giving moral knowledge and how moral perception is connected with intuition and emotion. It challenges stereotypes regarding both intuition and emotion, especially the view that they are either outside the rational order or tainted by irrationality. In doing this, the chapter criticizes one or another form of intellectualism—that is, the tendency to treat perception, cognition (especially belief formation), and rationality itself as dependent on intellectual operations such as inference, reasoning processes, and analysis. The chapter aims to realize two goals: to lay out major elements of a moral philosophy that reflects a well-developed epistemology, and to make epistemological points that emerge best in exploring the possibility of moral knowledge.
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