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  1. added 2019-06-20
    Robotic Nudges for Moral Improvement Through Stoic Practice.Michal Klincewicz - forthcoming - Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology.
    This paper offers a theoretical framework that can be used to derive viable engineering strategies for the design and development of robots that can nudge people towards moral improvement. The framework relies on research in developmental psychology and insights from Stoic ethics. Stoicism recommends contemplative practices that over time help one develop dispositions to behave in ways that improve the functioning of mechanisms that are constitutive of moral cognition. Robots can nudge individuals towards these practices and can therefore help develop (...)
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  2. added 2019-05-28
    Divine Forgiveness and Mercy in Evolutionary Perspective.Isaac Wiegman - 2017 - In Matthew Nelson Hill & Wm Curtis Holtzen (eds.), Connecting Faith and Science. Claremont: Claremont Press. pp. 189-220.
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  3. added 2019-05-28
    Divine Retribution in Evolutionary Perspective.Isaac Wiegman - 2016 - In Wm Curtis Holtzen & Matthew Nelson Hill (eds.), In Spirit and Truth. Claremont: CST Press. pp. 181-202.
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  4. added 2019-01-01
    Resistance to Position Change, Motivated Reasoning, and Polarization.Matthew L. Stanley, Paul Henne, Brenda Yang & Felipe De Brigard - forthcoming - Political Behavior.
    People seem more divided than ever before over social and political issues, entrenched in their existing beliefs and unwilling to change them. Empirical research on mechanisms driving this resistance to belief change has focused on a limited set of well-known, charged, contentious issues and has not accounted for deliberation over reasons and arguments in belief formation prior to experimental sessions. With a large, heterogeneous sample (N = 3,001), we attempt to overcome these existing problems, and we investigate the causes and (...)
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  5. added 2018-12-17
    Remembering Moral and Immoral Actions in Constructing the Self.Matthew L. Stanley, Paul Henne & Felipe De Brigard - forthcoming - Memory and Cognition.
    Having positive moral traits is central to one’s sense of self, and people generally are motivated to maintain a positive view of the self in the present. But it remains unclear how people foster a positive, morally good view of the self in the present. We suggest that recollecting and reflecting on moral and immoral actions from the personal past jointly help to construct a morally good view of the current self in complementary ways. More specifically, across four studies we (...)
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  6. added 2018-11-27
    Minding the Gap: Bias, Soft Structures, and the Double Life of Social Norms.Lacey J. Davidson & Daniel Kelly - forthcoming - Journal of Applied Philosophy.
    We argue that work on norms provides a way to move beyond debates between proponents of individualist and structuralist approaches to bias, oppression, and injustice. We briefly map out the geography of that debate before presenting Charlotte Witt’s view, showing how her position, and the normative ascriptivism at its heart, seamlessly connects individuals to the social reality they inhabit. We then describe recent empirical work on the psychology of norms and locate the notions of informal institutions and soft structures with (...)
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  7. added 2018-11-27
    Social Norms and Human Normative Psychology.Daniel Kelly & Taylor Davis - 2018 - Social Philosophy and Policy 35 (1):54-76.
    Our primary aim in this paper is to sketch a cognitive evolutionary approach for developing explanations of social change that is anchored on the psychological mechanisms underlying normative cognition and the transmission of social norms. We throw the relevant features of this approach into relief by comparing it with the self-fulfilling social expectations account developed by Bicchieri and colleagues. After describing both accounts, we argue that the two approaches are largely compatible, but that the cognitive evolutionary approach is well- suited (...)
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  8. added 2018-08-30
    I'm Not the Person I Used to Be: The Self and Autobiographical Memories of Immoral Actions.Matthew L. Stanley, Paul Henne, V. Iyengar, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong & Felipe De Brigard - 2017 - Journal of Experimental Psychology. General 146 (6).
    People maintain a positive identity in at least two ways: They evaluate themselves more favorably than other people, and they judge themselves to be better now than they were in the past. Both strategies rely on autobiographical memories. The authors investigate the role of autobiographical memories of lying and emotional harm in maintaining a positive identity. For memories of lying to or emotionally harming others, participants judge their own actions as less morally wrong and less negative than those in which (...)
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  9. added 2018-06-10
    Psychological Mechanism of Corruption: A Comprehensive Review. [REVIEW]Juneman Abraham, Julia Suleeman & Bagus Takwin - forthcoming - Asian Journal of Scientific Research.
    Corruption prevention can be more effective if it does not rely merely on legal enforcement. This theoretical review aimed to propose a hypothetical psychological model capable of explaining the behavior of corruption. Moral disengagement is a variable that is considered ontologically closest in “distance” to the variable of corruption behavior. Counterfeit self, implicit self-theory, ethical mindset and moral emotion are taken into account as the pivotal factors of the corruption behavior and its mechanism of moral disengagement. Counterfeit self along with (...)
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  10. added 2018-01-25
    The Limits of Appealing to Disgust.Joshua May - 2018 - In Nina Strohminger & Victor Kumar (eds.), The Moral Psychology of Disgust. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 151-170.
    The rhetoric of disgust is common in moral discourse and political propaganda. Some believe it's pernicious, for it convinces without evidence. But scientific research now suggests that disgust is typically an effect, not a cause, of moral judgment. At best the emotion on its own only sometimes slightly amplifies a moral belief one already has. Appeals to disgust are thus dialectically unhelpful in discourse that seeks to convince. When opponents of abortion use repulsive images to make their case, they convince (...)
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  11. added 2018-01-22
    Getting It Together: Psychological Unity and Deflationary Accounts of Animal Metacognition.Gary Comstock & William A. Bauer - 2018 - Acta Analytica 33 (4):431-451.
    Experimenters claim some nonhuman mammals have metacognition. If correct, the results indicate some animal minds are more complex than ordinarily presumed. However, some philosophers argue for a deflationary reading of metacognition experiments, suggesting that the results can be explained in first-order terms. We agree with the deflationary interpretation of the data but we argue that the metacognition research forces the need to recognize a heretofore underappreciated feature in the theory of animal minds, which we call Unity. The disparate mental states (...)
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  12. added 2018-01-11
    Beyond Sacrificial Harm: A Two-Dimensional Model of Utilitarian Psychology.Guy Kahane, Jim A. C. Everett, Brian D. Earp, Lucius Caviola, Nadira S. Faber, Molly J. Crockett & Julian Savulescu - 2018 - Psychological Review 125 (2):131-164.
    Recent research has relied on trolley-type sacrificial moral dilemmas to study utilitarian versus nonutili- tarian modes of moral decision-making. This research has generated important insights into people’s attitudes toward instrumental harm—that is, the sacrifice of an individual to save a greater number. But this approach also has serious limitations. Most notably, it ignores the positive, altruistic core of utilitarianism, which is characterized by impartial concern for the well-being of everyone, whether near or far. Here, we develop, refine, and validate a (...)
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  13. added 2017-10-09
    Animal Morality: What is the Debate About?Simon Fitzpatrick - 2017 - Biology and Philosophy 32 (6):1151-1183.
    Empirical studies of the social lives of non-human primates, cetaceans, and other social animals have prompted scientists and philosophers to debate the question of whether morality and moral cognition exists in non-human animals. Some researchers have argued that morality does exist in several animal species, others that these species may possess various evolutionary building blocks or precursors to morality, but not quite the genuine article, while some have argued that nothing remotely resembling morality can be found in any non-human species. (...)
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  14. added 2017-09-27
    The Influence of Social Interaction on Intuitions of Objectivity and Subjectivity.Fisher Matthew, Knobe Joshua, Strickland Brent & C. Keil Frank - 2017 - Cognitive Science 41 (4):1119-1134.
    We present experimental evidence that people's modes of social interaction influence their construal of truth. Participants who engaged in cooperative interactions were less inclined to agree that there was an objective truth about that topic than were those who engaged in a competitive interaction. Follow-up experiments ruled out alternative explanations and indicated that the changes in objectivity are explained by argumentative mindsets: When people are in cooperative arguments, they see the truth as more subjective. These findings can help inform research (...)
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  15. added 2017-09-08
    Emotion, Deliberation, and the Skill Model of Virtuous Agency.Charlie Kurth - 2018 - Mind and Language 33 (3):299-317.
    A recent skeptical challenge denies deliberation is essential to virtuous agency: what looks like genuine deliberation is just a post hoc rationalization of a decision already made by automatic mechanisms (Haidt 2001; Doris 2015). Annas’s account of virtue seems well-equipped to respond: by modeling virtue on skills, she can agree that virtuous actions are deliberation-free while insisting that their development requires significant thought. But Annas’s proposal is flawed: it over-intellectualizes deliberation’s developmental role and under-intellectualizes its significance once virtue is acquired. (...)
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  16. added 2017-06-03
    The Good Flow: How Happiness Emerges From the Skillful Enactment of Morality.Justin Kitchen - 2016 - Dissertation, San Francisco State University
    In this paper, I will argue that 'being good' positively correlates to 'being happy.' First, I will clarify how I’ll be using the word ‘morality’ and the phrase ‘being good’. Second, I will claim that moral goodness is developed and exercised as a kind of practical skill. This will allow me to propose that ‘being good’ – like other complex and engaging skills – entails the elicitation of a kind of flow experience. Third, I will propose that ‘being good’ involves (...)
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  17. added 2016-12-08
    Is Deontology a Moral Confabulation?Emilian Mihailov - 2016 - Neuroethics 9 (1):1-13.
    Joshua Greene has put forward the bold empirical hypothesis that deontology is a confabulation of moral emotions. Deontological philosophy does not steam from "true" moral reasoning, but from emotional reactions, backed up by post hoc rationalizations which play no role in generating the initial moral beliefs. In this paper, I will argue against the confabulation hypothesis. First, I will highlight several points in Greene’s discussion of confabulation, and identify two possible models. Then, I will argue that the evidence does not (...)
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  18. added 2016-12-08
    Determinism: Do Untutored Intuitions Feed the Bugbears?Dhar Sharmistha - 2009 - International Journal on Humanistic Ideology 2 (1):167-189.
    Philosophers have since long been relying on their own intuitions to shore up their own belief about agency and about the possibility of reconciliation with the domain of physical events that seems to be freewheeled by an underlying necessitarian process. In a certain philosophical circle, a trend has now emerged to put unprimed intuitions to test through psychological experiments, in order to figure out whether philosophers should exercise some temperance in bringing their own belief about agency to the fore, and (...)
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  19. added 2015-09-07
    False Spiritual Economy: Why an “I Want It All and I Want It Now” Attitude Doesn’T Promote Spiritual Growth.Edo Shonin & William Van Gordon - 2014 - Meditation: Research and Practice.
    It is fair to say that in contemporary society there is a growing demand amongst consumers for instant gratification and for products and services that can be accessed 24-hours a day. This appears to be the case across numerous sectors of society including (but not limited to) business, education, retail, tourism, health, and recreation. Some examples that come to mind are the: (i) investor looking for a quick-win return on their outlay, (ii) patient demanding a same-day diagnosis and medicine for (...)
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  20. added 2015-09-02
    Social Norms and Unthinkable Options.Ulf Hlobil - 2016 - Synthese 193 (8):2519–2537.
    We sometimes violate social norms in order to express our views and to trigger public debates. Many extant accounts of social norms don’t give us any insight into this phenomenon. Drawing on Cristina Bicchieri’s work, I am putting forward an empirical hypothesis that helps us to understand such norm violations. The hypothesis says, roughly, that we often adhere to norms because we are systematically blind to norm-violating options. I argue that this hypothesis is independently plausible and has interesting consequences. It (...)
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  21. added 2015-03-20
    Imagination and Action.Neil Van Leeuwen - 2016 - In Amy Kind (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Imagination. Routledge. pp. 286-299.
    Abstract: This entry elucidates causal and constitutive roles that various forms of imagining play in human action. Imagination influences more kinds of action than just pretend play. I distinguish different senses of the terms “imagining” and “imagination”: imagistic imagining, propositional imagining, and constructive imagining. Each variety of imagining makes its own characteristic contributions to action. Imagistic imagining can structure bodily movement. Propositional imagining interacts with desires to motivate pretend play and mimetic expressive action. And constructive imagination generates representations of possibilities (...)
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  22. added 2014-11-20
    An Information Processing Model of Psychopathy.Jeffrey White - 2012 - In Angelo S. Fruili & Luisa D. Veneto (eds.), Moral Psychology. Nova. pp. 1-34.
    Psychopathy is increasingly in the public eye. However, it is yet to be fully and effectively understood. Within the context of the DSM-IV, for example, it is best regarded as a complex family of disorders. The upside is that this family can be tightly related along common dimensions. Characteristic marks of psychopaths include a lack of guilt and remorse for paradigm case immoral actions, leading to the common conception of psychopathy rooted in affective dysfunctions. An adequate portrait of psychopathy is (...)
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  23. added 2014-07-18
    Beliefs About the True Self Explain Asymmetries Based on Moral Judgment.George E. Newman, Julian De Freitas & Joshua Knobe - 2015 - Cognitive Science 39 (1):96-125.
    Past research has identified a number of asymmetries based on moral judgments. Beliefs about what a person values, whether a person is happy, whether a person has shown weakness of will, and whether a person deserves praise or blame seem to depend critically on whether participants themselves find the agent's behavior to be morally good or bad. To date, however, the origins of these asymmetries remain unknown. The present studies examine whether beliefs about an agent's “true self” explain these observed (...)
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  24. added 2014-03-13
    Self-Deception Won't Make You Happy.Neil Van Leeuwen - 2009 - Social Theory and Practice 35 (1):107-132.
    I argue here that self-deception is not conducive to happiness. There is a long train of thought in social psychology that seems to say that it is, but proper understanding of the data does not yield this conclusion. Illusion must be distinguished from mere imagining. Self-deception must be distinguished from self-inflation bias and from self-fulfilling belief. Once these distinctions are in place, the case for self-deception falls apart. Furthermore, by yielding false beliefs, self-deception undermines desire satisfaction. Finally, I argue for (...)
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  25. added 2014-03-04
    Moral Judgment in Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders.Tiziana Zalla, Luca Barlassina, Marine Buon & Marion Leboyer - 2011 - Cognition 121 (1):115-126.
    The ability of a group of adults with high functioning autism (HFA) or Asperger Syndrome (AS) to distinguish moral, conventional and disgust transgressions was investigated using a set of six transgression scenarios, each of which was followed by questions about permissibility, seriousness, authority contingency and justification. The results showed that although individuals with HFA or AS (HFA/AS) were able to distinguish affect-backed norms from conventional affect-neutral norms along the dimensions of permissibility, seriousness and authority-dependence, they failed to distinguish moral and (...)
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  26. added 2014-02-09
    Moral Realism, Moral Disagreement, and Moral Psychology.Simon Fitzpatrick - 2014 - Philosophical Papers 43 (2):161-190.
    This paper considers John Doris, Stephen Stich, Alexandra Plakias, and colleagues’ recent attempts to utilize empirical studies of cross-cultural variation in moral judgment to support a version of the argument from disagreement against moral realism. Crucially, Doris et al. claim that the moral disagreements highlighted by these studies are not susceptible to the standard ‘diffusing’ explanations realists have developed in response to earlier versions of the argument. I argue that plausible hypotheses about the cognitive processes underlying ordinary moral judgment and (...)
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  27. added 2013-07-18
    Fighting Fair: The Ecology of Honor in Humans and Animals.Dan Demetriou - 2015 - In Jonathan Crane (ed.), Beastly Morality. Columbia University Press. pp. 123-154.
    This essay distinguishes between honor-typical and authoritarian behavior in humans and animals. Whereas authoritarianism concerns hierarchies coordinated by control and obedience, honor concerns rankings of prestige determined by fair contests. Honor-typical behavior is identifiable in non-human species, and is to be expected in polygynous species with non-resource-based mating systems. This picture lends further support to an increasingly popular psychological theory that sees morality as constituted by a variety of moral systems. If moral cognition is pluralistic in this way, then the (...)
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  28. added 2013-05-20
    Moral Responsibility and Psychopathy: Why We Do Not Have Special Obligations To The Psychopath.Justin Caouette - 2013 - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 4 (2):26-27.
    Addressing concerns about the treatment of psychopaths, Grant Gillett and Flora Huang (2013) argue that we ought to accept a relational or holistic view of psychopathy and APSD rather than the default biomedical-deficit model since the latter “obscures moral truths about the psychopath”. This change in approach to the psychopath will both mitigate at least some of their moral responsibility for the harms they cause, and force communities to incur special obligations, so they claim, because the harms endured by psychopaths (...)
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  29. added 2012-07-08
    Do Theories of Implicit Race Bias Change Moral Judgments?C. Daryl Cameron, Joshua Knobe & B. Keith Payne - 2010 - Social Justice Research 23:272-289.
    Recent work in social psychology suggests that people harbor “implicit race biases,” biases which can be unconscious or uncontrollable. Because awareness and control have traditionally been deemed necessary for the ascription of moral responsibility, implicit biases present a unique challenge: do we pardon discrimination based on implicit biases because of its unintentional nature, or do we punish discrimination regardless of how it comes about? The present experiments investigated the impact such theories have upon moral judgments about racial discrimination. The results (...)
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  30. added 2012-05-18
    Moral Structure Falls Out of General Event Structure.Brent Strickland, Matt Fisher & Joshua Knobe - 2012 - Psychological Inquiry 23 (2):198-205.
    The notion of agency has been explored within research in moral psychology and, quite separately, within research in linguistics. Moral psychologists have suggested that agency attributions play a role in moral judgments, while linguists have argued that agency attributions play a role in syntactic intuitions. -/- To explore the connection between these two lines of research, we report the results of an experiment in which we manipulate syntactic cues for agency and show a corresponding impact on moral judgments. This result (...)
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  31. added 2012-02-17
    Judgments About Moral Responsibility and Determinism in Patients with Behavioural Variant of Frontotemporal Dementia: Still Compatibilists.Florian Cova, Maxime Bertoux, Sacha Bourgeois-Gironde & Bruno Dubois - 2012 - Consciousness and Cognition 21 (2):851-864.
    Do laypeople think that moral responsibility is compatible with determinism? Recently, philosophers and psychologists trying to answer this question have found contradictory results: while some experiments reveal people to have compatibilist intuitions, others suggest that people could in fact be incompatibilist. To account for this contradictory answers, Nichols and Knobe (2007) have advanced a ‘performance error model’ according to which people are genuine incompatibilist that are sometimes biased to give compatibilist answers by emotional reactions. To test for this hypothesis, we (...)
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  32. added 2010-12-07
    The Ethics of False Belief.Timothy Lane - 2010 - EurAmerica 40 (3):591-633.
    According to Allen Wood’s “procedural principle” we should believe only that which can be justified by evidence, and nothing more. He argues that holding beliefs which are not justified by evidence diminishes our self-respect and corrupts us, both individually and collectively. Wood’s normative and descriptive views as regards belief are of a piece with the received view which holds that beliefs aim at the truth. This view I refer to as the Truth-Tracking View (TTV). I first present a modest version (...)
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