Which is, I suppose, a good enough reason to wonder if there is a cultural difference in the moral psychologies found in these very different approaches to philosophy.
Justin Tiwald, guest-posting at The Splintered Mind, is thinking about the same sort of thing – except he gets eastern philosophy. He suggests there are two ways we come to have moral emotions, and that Confucian moral education is about training yourself to have the right sort of gut feeling.
In fact, the purpose of moral education as they understood it was to make us more reliant on emotional appearances (seemings) than on emotional beliefs. The beliefs just “second” the emotional appearances.
He comes to this insight from an analysis by which there are two classes of emotion:
- emotions that come from our beliefs about things
- emotions that must come from perceptions of things because they conflict with our beliefs
From that, Tiewald reasons moral emotions might have the same bifurcation:
- moral emotions that come from moral beliefs
- moral emotions that must come from moral appearances because they conflict with our beliefs
He than says,
Moral beliefs tend to be more susceptible to rationalization and self-deception than moral appearances.
At this point, I’ll register a problem I have with this sort of schema. What is a moral appearance, and how is it different from a moral emotion?
It seems that by moral appearance he means a sort of ‘gut reaction’ (e.g. disgust), but this is usually understood to be a moral emotion itself.
Am I missing something because of my analytic bias?