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  1. The Reliable Route From Nonmoral Evidence to Moral Conclusions.Neil Sinhababu - forthcoming - Erkenntnis.
    We can infer moral conclusions from nonmoral evidence using a three-step procedure. First, we distinguish the processes generating belief so that their reliability in generating true belief is statistically predictable. Second, we assess the processes’ reliability, perhaps by observing how frequently they generate true nonmoral belief or logically inconsistent beliefs. Third, we adjust our credence in moral propositions in light of the truth ratios of the processes generating beliefs in them. This inferential route is noncircular, and progress along it is (...)
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  • Defusing the Regress Challenge to Debunking Arguments.Shang Long Yeo - 2020 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (6):785-800.
    A debunking argument contends that some target moral judgments were produced by unreliable processes and concludes that such judgments are unjustified. Debunking arguments face a regress challenge: to show that a process is unreliable at tracking the moral truth, we need to rely on other moral judgments. But we must show that these relied-upon judgments are also reliable, which requires yet a further set of judgments, whose reliability needs to be confirmed too, and so on. Some argue that the debunker (...)
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  • When Will a Consequentialist Push You in Front of a Trolley?Scott Woodcock - 2017 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (2):299-316.
    As the trolley problem runs its course, consequentialists tend to adopt one of two strategies: silently take comfort in the fact that deontological rivals face their own enduring difficulties, or appeal to cognitive psychology to discredit the deontological intuitions on which the trolley problem depends. I refer to the first strategy as silent schadenfreude and the second as debunking attack. My aim in this paper is to argue that consequentialists ought to reject both strategies and instead opt for what I (...)
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  • The Evolution of Retribution: Intuitions Undermined.Isaac Wiegman - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (2):490-510.
    Recent empirical work suggests that emotions are responsible for anti-consequentialist intuitions. For instance, anger places value on actions of revenge and retribution, value not derived from the consequences of these actions. As a result, it contributes to the development of retributive intuitions. I argue that if anger evolved to produce these retributive intuitions because of their biological consequences, then these intuitions are not a good indicator that punishment has value apart from its consequences. This severs the evidential connection between retributive (...)
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  • A Fallacious Jar? The Peculiar Relation Between Descriptive Premises and Normative Conclusions in Neuroethics.Nils-Frederic Wagner & Georg Northoff - 2015 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 36 (3):215-235.
    Ethical questions have traditionally been approached through conceptual analysis. Inspired by the rapid advance of modern brain imaging techniques, however, some ethical questions appear in a new light. For example, hotly debated trolley dilemmas have recently been studied by psychologists and neuroscientists alike, arguing that their findings can support or debunk moral intuitions that underlie those dilemmas. Resulting from the wedding of philosophy and neuroscience, neuroethics has emerged as a novel interdisciplinary field that aims at drawing conclusive relationships between neuroscientific (...)
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  • Who is Afraid of Commitment? On the Relation of Scientific Evidence and Conceptual Theory.Steffen Steinert & Joachim Lipski - 2018 - Erkenntnis 83 (3):477-500.
    Can scientific evidence prompt us to revise philosophical theories or folk theoretical accounts of phenomena of the mind? We will argue that it can—but only under the condition that they make a so-called ‘ontological commitment’ to something that is actually subject to empirical inquiry. In other words, scientific evidence pertaining to neuroanatomical structure or causal processes only has a refuting effect if philosophical theories and folk notions subscribe to either account. We will illustrate the importance of ‘ontological commitment’ with the (...)
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  • The Methods of Neuroethics: Is the Neuroscience of Ethics Really a New Challenge to Moral Philosophy?Sarah Songhorian - 2019 - Rivista Internazionale di Filosofia e Psicologia 10 (1):1-15.
    : Within the otherwise lively debate on neuroethics, little attention has been devoted to the peculiar methodological issues and challenges it faces. My aim is to track down its methodological specificities. Firstly, I will investigate to which traditional debates neuroethics bears similarity and to what extent it actually represents a novelty in ethical thinking. While the ethics of neuroscience is akin to bioethics, the neuroscience of ethics seems akin to moral psychology. And yet they differ as far as the level (...)
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  • Unequal Vividness and Double Effect.Neil Sinhababu - 2013 - Utilitas 25 (3):291-315.
    I argue that the Doctrine of Double Effect is accepted because of unreliable processes of belief-formation, making it unacceptably likely to be mistaken. We accept the doctrine because we more vividly imagine intended consequences of our actions than merely foreseen ones, making our aversions to the intended harms more violent, and making us judge that producing the intended harms is morally worse. This explanation fits psychological evidence from Schnall and others, and recent neuroscientific research from Greene, Klein, Kahane, and Schaich (...)
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  • Neuroethics and the Possible Types of Moral Enhancement.John R. Shook - 2012 - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 3 (4):3-14.
    Techniques for achieving moral enhancement will modify brain processes to produce what is alleged to be more moral conduct. Neurophilosophy and neuroethics must ponder what “moral enhancement” could possibly be, if possible at all. Objections to the very possibility of moral enhancement, raised from various philosophical and neuroscientific standpoints, fail to justify skepticism, but they do place serious constraints on the kinds of efficacious moral enhancers. While there won't be a “morality pill,” and hopes for global moral enlightenment will remain (...)
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  • The Causal Map and Moral Psychology.Timothy Schroeder - 2017 - Philosophical Quarterly 67 (267):347-369.
    Some philosophers hold that the neuroscience of action is, in practice or in principle, incapable of touching debates in action theory and moral psychology. The role of desires in action, the existence of basic actions, and the like are topics that must be sorted out by philosophers alone: at least at present, and perhaps by the very nature of the questions. This paper examines both philosophical and empirical arguments against the relevance of neuroscience to such questions and argues that neither (...)
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  • ‘Neurorecht’ in Nederland.Stephan Schleim - 2019 - Algemeen Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Wijsbegeerte 111 (3):379-404.
    ‘Neurolaw’ in the Netherlands: The justification of the new adolescent penal law from a neurophilosophical perspectiveThe possible and actual normative influence of neuroscientific research has been discussed in numerous publications. One particular part of that debate covered a number of US Supreme Court decisions since the early 2000s on the constitutionality of death or lifetime sentences for minor offenders. The present paper connects these topics to the new Dutch adolescent penal law which allows to treat adult offenders until the age (...)
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  • Morally Irrelevant Factors: What's Left of the Dual Process-Model of Moral Cognition?Hanno Sauer - 2012 - Philosophical Psychology 25 (6):783-811.
    Current developments in empirical moral psychology have spawned a new perspective on the traditional metaethical question of whether moral judgment is based on reason or emotion. Psychologists and cognitive neuroscientists such as Joshua Greene argue that there is empirical evidence that emotion is essential for one particularly important subclass of moral judgments: so-called ?deontological judgments.? In this paper, I scrutinize this claim and argue that neither the empirical evidence for Greene's dual process-theory of moral judgment nor the normative conclusions it (...)
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  • It’s the Knobe Effect, Stupid!: How to Explain the Side-Effect Effect.Hanno Sauer - 2014 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 5 (4):485-503.
    People asymmetrically attribute various agential features such as intentionality, knowledge, or causal impact to other agents when something of normative significance is at stake. I will argue that three questions are of primary interest in the debate about this effect. A methodological question about how to explain it at all; a substantive question about how to explain it correctly: and a normative question about whether to explain it in terms of an error or a legitimate judgmental pattern. The problem, I (...)
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  • Can’T We All Disagree More Constructively? Moral Foundations, Moral Reasoning, and Political Disagreement.Hanno Sauer - 2015 - Neuroethics 8 (2):153-169.
    Can’t we all disagree more constructively? Recent years have seen a dramatic increase in political partisanship: the 2013 shutdown of the US government as well as an ever more divided political landscape in Europe illustrate that citizens and representatives of developed nations fundamentally disagree over virtually every significant issue of public policy, from immigration to health care, from the regulation of financial markets to climate change, from drug policies to medical procedures. The emerging field of political psychology brings the tools (...)
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  • Chairmen, Cocaine, and Car Crashes: The Knobe Effect as an Attribution Error.Hanno Sauer & Tom Bates - 2013 - The Journal of Ethics 17 (4):305-330.
    In this paper, we argue that the so-called Knobe-Effect constitutes an error. There is now a wealth of data confirming that people are highly prone to what has also come to be known as the ‘side-effect effect’. That is, when attributing psychological states—such as intentionality, foreknowledge, and desiring—as well as other agential features—such as causal control—people typically do so to a greater extent when the action under consideration is evaluated negatively. There are a plethora of models attempting to account for (...)
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  • Against Moral Judgment. The Empirical Case for Moral Abolitionism.Hanno Sauer - 2021 - Philosophical Explorations 24 (2):137-154.
    ABSTRACT In this paper, I argue that recent evidence regarding the psychological basis of moral cognition supports a form of moral abolitionism. I identify three main problems undermining the epistemic quality of our moral judgments – contamination, reliability, and bad incentives – and reject three possible responses: neither moral expertise, nor moral learning, nor the possibility of moral progress succeed in solving the aforementioned epistemic problems. The result is a moderate form of moral abolitionism, according to which we should make (...)
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  • Socrates in the fMRI Scanner: The Neurofoundations of Morality and the Challenge to Ethics.Jon Rueda - 2021 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 30 (4):606-612.
    The neuroscience of ethics is allegedly having a double impact. First, it is transforming the view of human morality through the discovery of the neurobiological underpinnings that influence moral behavior. Secondly, some neuroscientific findings are radically challenging traditional views on normative ethics. Both claims have some truth but are also overstated. In this article, the author shows that they can be understood together, although with different caveats, under the label of ‘neurofoundationalism’. Whereas the neuroscientific picture of human morality is undoubtedly (...)
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  • Are Thoughtful People More Utilitarian? CRT as a Unique Predictor of Moral Minimalism in the Dilemmatic Context.Edward B. Royzman, Justin F. Landy & Robert F. Leeman - 2015 - Cognitive Science 39 (2):325-352.
    Recent theorizing about the cognitive underpinnings of dilemmatic moral judgment has equated slow, deliberative thinking with the utilitarian disposition and fast, automatic thinking with the deontological disposition. However, evidence for the reflective utilitarian hypothesis—the hypothesized link between utilitarian judgment and individual differences in the capacity for rational reflection has been inconsistent and difficult to interpret in light of several design flaws. In two studies aimed at addressing some of the flaws, we found robust evidence for a reflective minimalist hypothesis—high CRT (...)
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  • Why Moral Psychology is Disturbing.Regina Rini - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (6):1439-1458.
    Learning the psychological origins of our moral judgments can lead us to lose confidence in them. In this paper I explain why. I consider two explanations drawn from existing literature—regarding epistemic unreliability and automaticity—and argue that neither is fully adequate. I then propose a new explanation, according to which psychological research reveals the extent to which we are disturbingly disunified as moral agents.
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  • Making Psychology Normatively Significant.Regina A. Rini - 2013 - The Journal of Ethics 17 (3):257-274.
    The debate between proponents and opponents of a role for empirical psychology in ethical theory seems to be deadlocked. This paper aims to clarify the terms of that debate, and to defend a principled middle position. I argue against extreme views, which see empirical psychology either as irrelevant to, or as wholly displacing, reflective moral inquiry. Instead, I argue that moral theorists of all stripes are committed to a certain conception of moral thought—as aimed at abstracting away from individual inclinations (...)
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  • Feedback From Moral Philosophy to Cognitive Science.Regina A. Rini - 2015 - Philosophical Psychology 28 (4):569-588.
    A popular argument form uses general theories of cognitive architecture to motivate conclusions about the nature of moral cognition. This paper highlights the possibility for modus tollens reversal of this argument form. If theories of cognitive architecture generate predictions for moral cognition, then tests of moral thinking provide feedback to cognitive science. In certain circumstances, philosophers' introspective attention to their own moral deliberations can provide unique data for these tests. Recognizing the possibility for this sort of feedback helps to illuminate (...)
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  • Debunking Debunking: A Regress Challenge for Psychological Threats to Moral Judgment.Regina Rini - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (3):675-697.
    This paper presents a regress challenge to the selective psychological debunking of moral judgments. A selective psychological debunking argument conjoins an empirical claim about the psychological origins of certain moral judgments to a theoretical claim that these psychological origins cannot track moral truth, leading to the conclusion that the moral judgments are unreliable. I argue that psychological debunking arguments are vulnerable to a regress challenge, because the theoretical claim that ‘such-and-such psychological process is not moral-truth-tracking’ relies upon moral judgments. We (...)
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  • Two Problematic Foundations of Neuroethics and Pragmatist Reconstructions.Eric Racine & Matthew Sample - 2018 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 27 (4):566-577.
    Common understandings of neuroethics, i.e., of its distinctive nature, are premised on two distinct sets of claims: (1) neuroscience can change views about the nature of ethics itself and neuroethics is dedicated to reaping such an understanding of ethics; (2) neuroscience poses challenges distinct from other areas of medicine and science and neuroethics tackles those issues. Critiques have rightfully challenged both claims, stressing how the first may lead to problematic forms of reductionism while the second relies on debatable assumptions about (...)
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  • Is My Feeling Your Pain Bad for Others? Empathy as Virtue Versus Empathy as Fixed Trait.Gregory R. Peterson - 2017 - Zygon 52 (1):232-257.
    The purpose of this article is to critique the primary arguments given by Paul Bloom and Jesse Prinz against empathy, and to argue instead that empathy is best understood as a virtue that plays an important but complicated role in the moral life. That it is a virtue does not mean that it always functions well, and empathy sometimes contributes to behavior that is partial and unfair. In some of their writings, both Bloom and Prinz endorse the view that empathy (...)
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  • Sometimes Psychopaths Get It Right: A Utilitarian Response to 'The Mismeasure of Morals'.Tyler Paytas - 2014 - Utilitas 26 (2):178-191.
    A well-publicized study entitled (Bartels and Pizarro, 2011) purportedly provides evidence that utilitarian solutions to a particular class of moral dilemmas are endorsed primarily by individuals with psychopathic traits. According to the authors, these findings give researchers reason to refrain from classifying utilitarian judgements as morally optimal. This article is a two-part response to the study. The first part comprises concerns about the methodology used and the adequacy of the data for supporting the authors’ conclusions. The second part seeks to (...)
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  • In Search of Greene's Argument.Norbert Paulo - 2019 - Utilitas 31 (1):38-58.
    The moral psychologist Joshua Greene has proposed a number of arguments for the normative significance of empirical research and for the unreliability of deontological intuitions. For these arguments, much hinges on the combination of various components of Greene's research – namely the dual-process theory of moral judgement, ‘personalness’ as a factor in moral decision-making, and his functional understanding of deontology and consequentialism. Incorporating these components, I reconstruct three distinct arguments and show that the Personalness Argument for the claim that empirical (...)
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  • Inert.Dennis Patterson - 2022 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 16 (2):319-324.
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  • Which Causes of Moral Beliefs Matter?Elizabeth O’Neill - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (5):1070-1080.
    I argue that information about the distal causes of moral beliefs, such as evolution, is only relevant for assessing the epistemic status of moral beliefs in cases where we cannot determine whether the proximal processes producing these beliefs are reliable just by examining the properties of these proximal processes. Any investigation into the epistemic status of moral beliefs given their causes should start with a look at proximal causes—not at evolution. I discuss two proximal psychological influences on moral beliefs—disgust and (...)
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  • Neuroethik – Geschichte, Definition und Gegenstandsbereich eines neuen Wissenschaftsgebiets Neuroethics—history, definition, and scope of a new field of science.Sabine Müller, Merlin Bittlinger, Kirsten Brukamp, Markus Christen, Orsolya Friedrich, Malte-C. Gruber, Jon Leefmann, Grischa Merkel, Saskia K. Nagel, Marco Stier & Ralf J. Jox - 2018 - Ethik in der Medizin 30 (2):91-106.
    ZusammenfassungFünfzehn Jahre nach ihrer Entstehung ist die Neuroethik ein internationales wissenschaftliches Feld mit enormer Dynamik. Innerhalb weniger Jahre wurden eigene Kongresse, Zeitschriften, Forschungsförderprogramme, Fachgesellschaften und Institute gegründet. Gleichwohl besteht erheblicher Dissens über die Definition und den Gegenstandsbereich dieses neuen Gebiets. Wir argumentieren hier für eine differenzierte Konzeption, wonach neben der Reflexion ethischer Probleme der Neurowissenschaft und ihrer überwiegend neurotechnologischen Anwendungen auch die ethische Reflexion neurowissenschaftlicher Forschung zur Moralität zur Neuroethik gehört. Dies umfasst zwar nicht neurowissenschaftliche oder neuropsychologische Studien zur Moralität, (...)
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  • Is Deontology a Moral Confabulation?Emilian Mihailov - 2015 - 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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  • Brains, Trolleys, and Intuitions: Defending Deontology From the Greene/Singer Argument.C. D. Meyers - 2015 - Philosophical Psychology 28 (4):466-486.
    Joshua Greene and Peter Singer argue, on the basis of empirical evidence, that deontological moral judgments result from emotional reactions while dispassionate reasoning leads to consequentialist judgments. Given that there are good reasons to doubt these emotionally driven intuitions, they argue that we should reject Kantian ethics. I argue that the evidence does not support the claim that consequentialism is inherently more reason-based or less emotion-based than Kantian ethics. This is partly because the experiments employ a functional definition of ‘deontological’ (...)
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  • Unifying Moral Methodology.Tristram Mcpherson - 2012 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 93 (4):523-549.
    This article argues that the best way to pursue systematic normative ethical theorizing involves metaethical enquiry. My argument builds upon two central claims. First, I argue that plausible metaethical accounts can have implications that can help to resolve the methodological controversies facing normative ethics. Second, I argue that metaethical research is at least roughly as well supported as normative ethical research. I conclude by examining the implications of my thesis. Inter alia, it shows that the common practice of engaging in (...)
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  • Moral Judgment and Deontology: Empirical Developments.Joshua May - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (11):745-755.
    A traditional idea is that moral judgment involves more than calculating the consequences of actions; it also requires an assessment of the agent's intentions, the act's nature, and whether the agent uses another person as a means to her ends. I survey experimental developments suggesting that ordinary people often tacitly reason in terms of such deontological rules. It's now unclear whether we should posit a traditional form of the doctrine of double effect. However, further research suggests that a range of (...)
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  • The Epistemology of Ethical Intuitions.Hallvard Lillehammer - 2011 - Philosophy 86 (2):175-200.
    Intuitions are widely assumed to play an important evidential role in ethical inquiry. In this paper I critically discuss a recently influential claim that the epistemological credentials of ethical intuitions are undermined by their causal pedigree and functional role. I argue that this claim is exaggerated. In the course of doing so I argue that the challenge to ethical intuitions embodied in this claim should be understood not only as a narrowly epistemological challenge, but also as a substantially ethical one. (...)
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  • Nudges in a Post-Truth World.Neil Levy - 2017 - Journal of Medical Ethics 43 (8):495-500.
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  • Evolutionary Debunking Arguments Meet Evolutionary Science.Arnon Levy & Yair Levy - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 100 (3):491-509.
    Evolutionary debunking arguments appeal to selective etiologies of human morality in an attempt to undermine moral realism. But is morality actually the product of evolution by natural selection? Although debunking arguments have attracted considerable attention in recent years, little of it has been devoted to whether the underlying evolutionary assumptions are credible. In this paper, we take a closer look at the evolutionary hypotheses put forward by two leading debunkers, namely Sharon Street and Richard Joyce. We raise a battery of (...)
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  • When Psychology Undermines Beliefs.Derek Leben - 2014 - Philosophical Psychology 27 (3):328-350.
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  • When Psychology Undermines Beliefs.Derek Leben - 2012 - Philosophical Psychology (3):1-23.
    This paper attempts to specify the conditions under which a psychological explanation can undermine or debunk a set of beliefs. The focus will be on moral and religious beliefs, where a growing debate has emerged about the epistemic implications of cognitive science. Recent proposals by Joshua Greene and Paul Bloom will be taken as paradigmatic attempts to undermine beliefs with psychology. I will argue that a belief p may be undermined whenever: (i) p is evidentially based on an intuition which (...)
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  • Cognitive Neuroscience and Moral Decision-Making: Guide or Set Aside?Derek Leben - 2010 - Neuroethics 4 (2):163-174.
    It is by now a well-supported hypothesis in cognitive neuroscience that there exists a functional network for the moral appraisal of situations. However, there is a surprising disagreement amongst researchers about the significance of this network for moral actions, decisions, and behavior. Some researchers suggest that we should uncover those ethics [that are built into our brains ], identify them, and live more fully by them, while others claim that we should often do the opposite, viewing the cognitive neuroscience of (...)
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  • On the Normative Significance of Experimental Moral Psychology.Victor Kumar & Richmond Campbell - 2012 - Philosophical Psychology 25 (3):311-330.
    Experimental research in moral psychology can be used to generate debunking arguments in ethics. Specifically, research can indicate that we draw a moral distinction on the basis of a morally irrelevant difference. We develop this naturalistic approach by examining a recent debate between Joshua Greene and Selim Berker. We argue that Greene's research, if accurate, undermines attempts to reconcile opposing judgments about trolley cases, but that his attempt to debunk deontology fails. We then draw some general lessons about the possibility (...)
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  • Moral Vindications.Victor Kumar - 2017 - Cognition 167:124-134.
    Psychologists and neuroscientists have recently been unearthing the unconscious processes that give rise to moral intuitions and emotions. According to skeptics like Joshua Greene, what has been found casts doubt on many of our moral beliefs. However, a new approach in moral psychology develops a learning-theoretic framework that has been successfully applied in a number of other domains. This framework suggests that model-based learning shapes intuitions and emotions. Model-based learning explains how moral thought and feeling are attuned to local material (...)
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  • Metamorality without Moral Truth.Steven R. Kraaijeveld & Hanno Sauer - 2018 - Neuroethics 12 (2):119-131.
    Recently, Joshua Greene has argued that we need a metamorality to solve moral problems for which evolution has not prepared us. The metamorality that he proposes is a utilitarian account that he calls deep pragmatism. Deep pragmatism is supposed to arbitrate when the values espoused by different groups clash. To date, no systematic appraisal of this argument for a metamorality exists. We reconstruct Greene’s case for deep pragmatism as a metamorality and consider three lines of objection to it. We argue (...)
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  • Debunking (the) Retribution (Gap).Steven R. Kraaijeveld - 2019 - Science and Engineering Ethics:1-14.
    Robotization is an increasingly pervasive feature of our lives. Robots with high degrees of autonomy may cause harm, yet in sufciently complex systems neither the robots nor the human developers may be candidates for moral blame. John Danaher has recently argued that this may lead to a retribution gap, where the human desire for retribution faces a lack of appropriate subjects for retributive blame. The potential social and moral implications of a retribution gap are considerable. I argue that the retributive (...)
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  • Evolutionary Skepticism About Morality and Prudential Normativity.Peter Königs - 2018 - Philosophia 46 (4):911-928.
    Debunking arguments aim at defeating the justification of a belief by revealing the belief to have a dubious genealogy. One prominent example of such a debunking argument is Richard Joyce’s evolutionary debunking explanation of morality. Joyce’s argument targets only our belief in moral facts, while our belief in prudential facts is exempt from his evolutionary critique. In this paper, I suggest that our belief in prudential facts falls victim to evolutionary debunking, too. Just as our moral sense can be explained (...)
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  • Experimental ethics, intuitions, and morally irrelevant factors.Peter Königs - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (9):2605-2623.
    Studies suggest that people's moral intuitions are sensitive to morally irrelevant factors, such as personal force, spatial distance, ethnicity or nationality. Findings of this sort have been used to construct debunking arguments. The most prominent champion of this approach is Joshua Greene, who has attempted to undermine deontology by showing that deontological intuitions are triggered by morally irrelevant factors. This article offers a critical analysis of such empirically informed debunking arguments from moral irrelevance, and of Greene’s effort to undermine deontology. (...)
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  • The Dual Track Theory of Moral Decision-Making: A Critique of the Neuroimaging Evidence.Colin Klein - 2010 - Neuroethics 4 (2):143-162.
    The dual-track theory of moral reasoning has received considerable attention due to the neuroimaging work of Greene et al. Greene et al. claimed that certain kinds of moral dilemmas activated brain regions specific to emotional responses, while others activated areas specific to cognition. This appears to indicate a dissociation between different types of moral reasoning. I re-evaluate these claims of specificity in light of subsequent empirical work. I argue that none of the cortical areas identified by Greene et al. are (...)
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  • Charting Moral Psychology’s Significance for Bioethics: Routes to Bioethical Progress, its Limits, and Lessons From Moral Philosophy.Michael Klenk - 2020 - Diametros 17 (64):36-55.
    Empirical moral psychology is sometimes dismissed as normatively insignificant because it plays no decisive role in settling ethical disputes. But that conclusion, even if it is valid for normative ethics, does not extend to bioethics. First, in contrast to normative ethics, bioethics can legitimately proceed from a presupposed moral framework. Within that framework, moral psychology can be shown to play four significant roles: it can improve bioethicists’ understanding of the decision situation, the origin and legitimacy of their moral concepts, efficient (...)
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  • Poetic Naturalism: Sean Carroll, Science, and Moral Objectivity.Whitley Kaufman - 2017 - Zygon 52 (1):196-211.
    Physicist Sean Carroll has developed a new theory of the fundamental nature of reality, which he calls “Poetic Naturalism,” with the stated goal of developing a theory of what is real that is consistent with the findings of natural science. Carroll claims to prove that morality cannot be seen as objectively true. This essay argues that Carroll's conclusion is not convincing; there is no good reason to reject moral objectivity within a purely naturalistic worldview.
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  • The Armchair and the Trolley: An Argument for Experimental Ethics.Guy Kahane - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 162 (2):421-445.
    Ethical theory often starts with our intuitions about particular cases and tries to uncover the principles that are implicit in them; work on the ‘trolley problem’ is a paradigmatic example of this approach. But ethicists are no longer the only ones chasing trolleys. In recent years, psychologists and neuroscientists have also turned to study our moral intuitions and what underlies them. The relation between these two inquiries, which investigate similar examples and intuitions, and sometimes produce parallel results, is puzzling. Does (...)
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  • On the Wrong Track: Process and Content in Moral Psychology.Guy Kahane - 2012 - Mind and Language 27 (5):519-545.
    According to Joshua Greene’s influential dual process model of moral judgment, different modes of processing are associated with distinct moral outputs: automatic processing with deontological judgment, and controlled processing with utilitarian judgment. This paper aims to clarify and assess Greene’s model. I argue that the proposed tie between process and content is based on a misinterpretation of the evidence, and that the supposed evidence for controlled processing in utilitarian judgment is actually likely to reflect generic deliberation which, ironically, is incompatible (...)
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