How Morality Seems: A Cognitive Phenomenal Case for Moral Realism
Philosophers of mind have recently debated over whether or not there exists a unique cognitive phenomenology – a “what it’s like”-ness to our conscious cognitive mental states. Most of these debates have centered on the ontological question of whether or not cognitive phenomenology exists. I suggest that assuming cognitive phenomenology does exist, it would have important consequences for other areas of philosophy. In particular, it would have important consequences for moral epistemology – how we come to know the moral truths we seem to know. I argue that adopting cognitive phenomenology and the epistemic principle of phenomenal conservatism can do “double duty” for the moral realist: they provide the moral realist with prima facie grounds for belief in the objectivity of morality, while epistemically vindicating the specific contents of their beliefs.