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Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Think No Evil: Ethics and the Appeal to Experience

Paul Lauritzen
Hypatia
Vol. 12, No. 2 (Spring, 1997), pp. 83-104
Published by: Wiley on behalf of Hypatia, Inc.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3810471
Page Count: 22
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Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Think No Evil: Ethics and the Appeal to Experience
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Abstract

This essay distinguishes three types of appeals to experience in ethics, identifies problems with appealing to experience, and argues that appeals to experience must be open to critical assessment, if experientially-based arguments are to be useful. Unless competing and potentially irreconcilable experiences can be assessed and adjudicated, experientially-based arguments will be problematic. The paper recommends thinking of the appeal to experience as a kind of storytelling to be evaluated as other stories are.

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