Word and Action: Reconciling Rules and Know-How in Moral Cognition
Recent work in Cognitive Science highlights the importance of exemplar-based know-how in supporting human expertise. Influenced by this model, many accounts of moral knowledge now stress exemplar-based, non-sentential know-how at the expense of the rule-and-principle based accounts favored by Kant, Mill and others. I shall argue, however, that moral thought and reason is an intrinsically complex achievement that cannot be understood by reference to either of these roles alone. Moral cognition -- like other forms of ‘advanced’ cognition -- depends on the subtle interplay and interaction between multiple factors and forces and especially (or so I argue) between the use of linguistic tools and formulations and more biologically basic forms of thought and reason.