Many people believe that our thoughts can be morally wrong. For example, many regard rape and murder fantasies as morally wrong. In a provocative recent essay, George Sher disagrees with this and argues that “the realm of the purely mental is best regarded as a morality-free zone,” wherein “no thoughts or attitudes are either forbidden or required” (2). Ultimately, Sher argues that “each person’s subjectivity is a limitless, lawless wild west in which absolutely everything is permitted” (2). Sher calls this view the Wild West of the Mind.
I argue against Sher’s position. In section I, I summarize Sher’s view. In section II, I criticize Sher’s argument for the Wild West of the Mind. In section III, I outline additional objections to Sher’s view.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.