Phenomenology of Moral Demand Experience

Booker, Duncan Clark (1992) Phenomenology of Moral Demand Experience. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

Full text available as:
[thumbnail of 13834164.pdf] PDF
Download (15MB)


In this thesis I address a seeming component of objectivity in our experience of moral demands. I try to describe that experience as accurately as possible, and in order to do so employ a phenomenological mode of presentation. I especially look to see whether such demands are taken by us as emanating from an objectively prescriptive value realm, as some moral philosophers think that we do. My contention throughout the thesis is that no such signalling is given, either in immediate experience or on reflection on the experience's impress on one. Further work on my part goes on to see whether some sense of independence of the experience from the subject is necessary for it to be had at all by her. In the first chapter I set out the reasons for taking there to be an issue worth studying, and show how some representations of the demand experience leave open a number of interesting questions. I follow that with two methodological chapters in which the subject area is also refined and prepared: chapter 2 being concerned to elucidate the relevance of Husserl's 'formal' version of phenomenology to my area of study, and chapter 3 directed to what I call the 'informal' approach, as phenomenology is generally used in the ordinary run of Anglo-American philosophy. In chapter 4 I describe the strength and quality of the moral demand experience as it strikes one and compare it with other, non-moral demand experiences to find out if there is anything special about the former. Chapter 5 continues that comparative approach, arguing that the experience should not be seen as of objectively prescriptive values, but that it does include some objectivity component. In chapter 61 then identify different configurations of the experience in terms of 'self and 'not-self in order to check on the kind of independence felt by us to be possessed by the not-self element to the experience. And in the final chapter I cover certain reflective appraisals of putative necessary features of our moral demand experience, contending that these are not taken by us as involving an objective value realm.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Adviser: Paul Brownsey
Keywords: Philosophy, Ethics
Date of Award: 1992
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1992-76400
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2019 14:44
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2019 14:44

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year