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Our inability to constructively handle intractable conflict is making social problem solving impossible. Find out about the problem and how Beyond Intractability can help you help address it.
The basic criticisms that each position makes of the other are simple. Kantians are vulnerable to the charge that they do not give a proper account of the role of feeling and emotion in the moral life. They can also be accused of reifying our capacity for reason in a way that makes mysterious how human beings’ capacities for reason and morality might have evolved. Humeans are vulnerable to the charge that they cannot give any account of the validity of reasoning beyond the boundaries of what we might feel inclined to endorse or reject: Can the Humean really hold that moral reasoning has any validity for people who do not feel concern for others? Contemporary philosophers have developed both positions so as to take account of such criticisms, which has led to rather technical debates about the nature of reason (for instance, Bernard Williams’ (1981) well-known distinction between internal and external reasons) and normativity (what it is for something to provide a reason to act or think in a certain way, for example, Korsgaard, 1996). So far as responsibility is concerned, Wallace (1994) is a well-regarded attempt to mediate between the two approaches. Rather differently, Pettit (2001) uses our susceptibility to reasons as the basis for an essentially interactive account of moral agency.
Most successful efforts at reconciliation have, in fact, been led by teams of "locals" from both sides of the divide. Thus, the TRC was chaired by Desmond Tutu, a black clergyman, while its vice president was Alex Boraine, a white pastor. Both were outspoken opponents of apartheid, but they made certain to include whites who had been supporters of the old regime until quite near its end.