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An alternative explanation of moral dumbfounding looks to social norms of moral reasoning (Sneddon 2007).And a more optimistic reaction to our confusion sees our established patterns of “moral consistency reasoning” as being well-suited to cope with the clashing input generated by our fast and slow systems (Campbell & Kumar 2012).In some situations, even moral ones, we might be ill-advised to attempt to answer our practical questions by explicit reasoning.In others, it might even be a mistake to reason tacitly — because, say, we face a pressing emergency.When we are faced with moral questions in daily life, just as when we are faced with child-rearing, agricultural, and business questions, sometimes we act impulsively or instinctively and sometimes we pause to reason, not just about what to do, but about what we ought to do.
Some of our dumbfounding and confusion has been laid at the feet of our having both a fast, more emotional way of processing moral stimuli and a slow, more cognitive way (e.g., Greene 2007).And what do those norms indicate about what we ought to do do?The topic of moral reasoning lies in between two other commonly addressed topics in moral philosophy.On these understandings, asking what one ought (morally) to do can be a practical question, a certain way of asking about what to do.(See section 1.5 on the question of whether this is a distinctive practical question.) In order to do justice to the full range of philosophical views about moral reasoning, we will need to have a capacious understanding of what counts as a moral question.