Moral phenomenology and a moral ontology of the human person
Title: Moral phenomenology and a moral ontology of the human person
Author: LACEY, Joseph
Citation: Phenomenology and the cognitive sciences, 2013, Vol. 12, No. 1, pp. 51- 73
ISSN: 1572-8676; 1568-7759
Terry Horgan and Mark Simmons’ work implies four criteria that moral phenomenology must be capable of meeting if it is to be a viable field of study that can make a worthwhile contribution to moral philosophy. It must be (a) about a unified subject matter as well as being, (b) wide, (c) independent, and (d) robust. Contrary to some scepticism about the possibility or usefulness of this field, I suggest that these criteria can be met by elucidating the very foundations of moral experience or what I call a moral ontology of the human person. I attempt to partially outline such an ontology by engaging with Robert Sokolowski's phenomenology of the human person from a moral perspective. My analysis of Sokolowski's thought leads me to five core ideas of a moral ontology of the human person: well-being, virtue, freedom, responsibility, and phronesis. Though I do not by any means boast a complete moral ontology of the human person, I go on to demonstrate how the account I have presented, or something like it, can go a long way to helping moral phenomenology meet the criteria it requires to be a viable and worthwhile pursuit.
Published online 14 December 2011
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