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Moral Perception$
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Robert Audi

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691156484

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691156484.001.0001

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Perception as a Direct Source of Moral Knowledge

Perception as a Direct Source of Moral Knowledge

(p.51) Chapter 3 Perception as a Direct Source of Moral Knowledge
Moral Perception

Robert Audi

Princeton University Press

This chapter explores how simple perception, whether moral or not, does not entail belief formation, but its non-doxastic character does not in the least preclude its presenting perceivers with much information about the object perceived. That perception does this explains in good part why it can both justify beliefs appropriately connected with its content and ground knowledge about its object. But if, in perceiving an object, a person processes information—as is widely held among psychologists as well as philosophers—one may wonder whether perception is in some way inferential. Understanding perception requires pursuing this question, and that in turn requires clarifying what constitutes inference. The chapter also examines how perception and inference differ and how each may yield moral knowledge.

Keywords:   perception, belief formation, perceivers, inference, moral knowledge, psychologists, philosophers

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