Volume 10, 2008
Moral Perception and Its Evaluative Dimension
Moral Perception is the moral agent’s perception of the morally significant situation. In recent decades, the question about the role of moral perception in the moral life has drawn more and more attention in contemporary ethical theories. It has been widely acknowledged that the virtuous person perceives a given morally significant situation differently from others. But, current discussions of moral perception have been focused on the cognitive function of moral perception i.e., moral perception's making a certain feature of a given situation salient for the agent, but there is not much that has been said about the evaluative nature of moral perception, i.e., moral perception's offering the agent a certain evaluation of the saliently perceived feature of a given situation. This paper is intended to show that moral perception has both cognitive and evaluative dimensions. More specifically, it argues that moral perception is not only a matter of saliently seeing certain features of a morally significant situation but also a matter of evaluating these features. It is such an integration of cognitive and evaluative dimensions of moral perception that provides with the agent motivational power and makes her action possible.