We all have moral beliefs. What if we are unsure about what to believe about a serious moral issue, or if one belief conflicts with another that we hold with equal conviction? When such conflicts and doubts occur, we try to make our beliefs cohere, and are forced to engage in a moral inquiry.
Michael R. DePaul argues that we have to make our beliefs cohere, but that the current coherence methods are seriously flawed. Methods such as that which John Rawls has proposed are intellectualist and mechanical. DePaul argues that it is not just arguments that need to be considered in moral inquiry. The ability to make sensitive moral judgements is vital to any philosophical inquiry into morality. The inquirer must consider how life experiences and experiences with literature, film, theater, music and art have influenced the capacity to make moral judgments, and attempt to insure that this capacity is neither naive nor corrupted.
"Balance and Refinement" is the only book to focus primarily on epistemological and methodological questions in moral realism. The author raises issues of moral conversions, the possibility of naivete and corruption, and the significant role of life experience and experiences with the arts in moral inquiry. He also discusses the role of literature in moral inquiry. This title will make a valuable contribution to epistemology, ethics, and moral theory.