Graduate Student, Tufts University
Michael Mitchell is a graduate student at Tufts University, where he studies moral and political philosophy. His writing has appeared in The New Rambler Review, Haaretz, and other publications.
Science has next to nothing to say about moral intuitions
Being moral means you can never do enough
This was a tough piece to write. It’s hard to confront our own shortcomings, and it can seem harsh to do so by examining the shortcomings of someone who was so clearly a moral hero. Schindler intrigues me because he did so much more than I expect I could have done under his circumstances - because here I am, in circumstances in which it is far easier to do as much good, and I am not doing enough. When I think of his tears at the end of the film, I’m deeply moved. Somehow, his guilt (or at least regret) only enhances his moral standing.
I continue to wrestle with some of the more philosophical questions which emerge from this piece. Is the demandingness of consequentialism (at least...
Moral intuitions: can’t live with them, can’t live without them. That, at least, is an attitude that seems to lurk beneath some of the philosophical literature on moral intuitions, and I wanted to explore the issue in this piece. Like so much philosophy, the article is just my best attempt to capture what seems right to me right now. In that sense, it’s provisional. I’m still hoping to learn more. I’m still left with some major questions about all of this. For example: How do we practice ethics without relying on moral intuitions? I suggested a few possible models at the end of the piece (Socrates, Aristotle, Rawls), but do others come to mind? (A few other possibilities that seem worth f...