The priority that Tessman’s argument gives to phenomenological and neuropsychological explanations of moral requirements entails a fundamental shift in our understanding of these. Two central problems of normative theory come together in Tessman’s account. The first arises when an agent’s sense of requirement clashes with what a systematic theory prescribes. The second arises when neuropsychological accounts fail to fit the prescription. Tessman argues that no account successfully resolves moral dilemmas such that ought always implies can, and she argues that neuropsychology explains our sense of impossible requirements. This explanation eliminates the role of a prescriptive theory in explaining an agent’s sense of requirement.
Rivera, Lisa. 2016. "Possible Dilemmas Raised by Impossible Moral Requirements." Feminist Philosophy Quarterly 2, (1). Article 5. doi:10.5206/fpq/2016.1.5.