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Naturalizing ethics

In Walter Sinnott Armstrong (ed.), Moral Psychology, Vol. 1: The Evolution of Morality: Adaptations and Innateness. Cambridge, MA, USA: pp. 1-26 (2007)

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  1. Analysing Theoretical Frameworks of Moral Education Through Lakatos’s Philosophy of Science.Hyemin Han - 2014 - Journal of Moral Education 43 (1):32-53.
    The structure of studies of moral education is basically interdisciplinary; it includes moral philosophy, psychology, and educational research. This article systematically analyses the structure of studies of moral educational from the vantage points of philosophy of science. Among the various theoretical frameworks in the field of philosophy of science, this article mainly utilizes the perspectives of Lakatos’s research program. In particular, the article considers the relations and interactions between different fields, including moral philosophy, psychology, and educational research. Finally, the potential (...)
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  • Origins of the Qualitative Aspects of Consciousness: Evolutionary Answers to Chalmers' Hard Problem.Jonathan Y. Tsou - 2013 - In Liz Swan (ed.), Origins of Mind. Springer. pp. 259--269.
    According to David Chalmers, the hard problem of consciousness consists of explaining how and why qualitative experience arises from physical states. Moreover, Chalmers argues that materialist and reductive explanations of mentality are incapable of addressing the hard problem. In this chapter, I suggest that Chalmers’ hard problem can be usefully distinguished into a ‘how question’ and ‘why question,’ and I argue that evolutionary biology has the resources to address the question of why qualitative experience arises from brain states. From this (...)
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  • The Methods of Ethics. Conflicts Built to Last.Björn Eriksson - unknown
    An impressive amount of evidence from psychology, cognitive neurology, evolutionary psychology and primatology seems to be converging on a ‘dual process’ model of moral or practical (in the philosophical sense) psychology according to which our practical judgments are generated by two distinct processes, one ‘emotive-intuitive’ and one ‘cognitive-utilitarian’. In this paper I approach the dual process model from several directions, trying to shed light on various aspects of our moral and practical lives.
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  • Natural Love: Aquinas, Evolution and Charity.Adam M. Willows - 2021 - Heythrop Journal 62 (3):535-545.
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  • Normative Ethics Does Not Need a Foundation: It Needs More Science.Katinka Quintelier, Linda Van Speybroeck & Johan Braeckman - 2011 - Acta Biotheoretica 59 (1):29-51.
    The impact of science on ethics forms since long the subject of intense debate. Although there is a growing consensus that science can describe morality and explain its evolutionary origins, there is less consensus about the ability of science to provide input to the normative domain of ethics. Whereas defenders of a scientific normative ethics appeal to naturalism, its critics either see the naturalistic fallacy committed or argue that the relevance of science to normative ethics remains undemonstrated. In this paper, (...)
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  • Rethinking Ethical Naturalism: The Implications of Developmental Systems Theory.Jared J. Kinggard - unknown
    Biological research has the capacity to inform ethical discussions. There are numerous questions about the nature of sexual orientation, intelligence, gender identity, etc., and many of these questions are commonly approached with the benefit of implicit or explicit biological commitments. The answers to these sorts of questions can have a powerful impact on social, ethical, and political positions. In this project I examine the prospect of naturalizing ethics under the umbrella of developmental systems theory. If one is committed to DST, (...)
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  • Cognitive Models of Moral Decision Making.Wendell Wallach - 2010 - Topics in Cognitive Science 2 (3):420-429.
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  • What Does the Modularity of Morals Have to Do With Ethics? Four Moral Sprouts Plus or Minus a Few.Owen Flanagan & Robert Anthony Williams - 2010 - Topics in Cognitive Science 2 (3):430-453.
    Flanagan (1991) was the first contemporary philosopher to suggest that a modularity of morals hypothesis (MMH) was worth consideration by cognitive science. There is now a serious empirically informed proposal that moral competence is best explained in terms of moral modules-evolutionarily ancient, fast-acting, automatic reactions to particular sociomoral experiences (Haidt & Joseph, 2007). MMH fleshes out an idea nascent in Aristotle, Mencius, and Darwin. We discuss the evidence for MMH, specifically an ancient version, “Mencian Moral Modularity,” which claims four innate (...)
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  • One Enchanted Being: Neuroexistentialism and Meaning.Owen Flanagan - 2009 - Zygon 44 (1):41-49.
    The Really Hard Problem: Meaning in a Material World is my attempt to explain whether and how existential meaning is possible in a material world, and how such meaning is best conceived naturalistically. Neuroexistentialism conceives of our predicament in accordance with Darwin plus neuroscience. The prospects for our kind of being-in-the-world are limited by our natures as smart but fully embodied short-lived animals. Many find this picture disenchanting, even depressing. I respond to four criticisms of my relentless upbeat naturalism: that (...)
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  • A Genealogy of Early Confucian Moral Psychology.Ryan Nichols - 2011 - Philosophy East and West 61 (4):609-629.
    The project is to traverse with quite novel questions, and as though with new eyes, the enormous, distant, and so well hidden land of morality—of morality that has actually existed, actually been lived.This essay offers a contribution to the consilience of the humanities, social sciences, and life sciences in accord with naturalism (in a spirit closer to Slingerland 2008 than Wilson 1998). Human beings have a shared nature produced by evolutionary history and modified by culture, where 'culture' refers to "information (...)
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  • Early Confucianism and Contemporary Moral Psychology.Richard Kim - 2016 - Philosophy Compass 11 (9):473-485.
    The aim of this essay is to introduce scholars to recent discussions of early Confucian ethics that intersect with contemporary moral psychology. Given the early Confucian tradition's intense focus on the cultivation of virtue, there are a number of ways in which early Confucian thinkers – as represented in the texts of the Analects, the Mencius, and the Xunzi – fruitfully engaged in a range of topics that are closely connected to live issues in moral psychology. Not only did they (...)
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  • On the Social Dimensions of Moral Psychology.John D. GreenwooD - 2011 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 41 (4):333-364.
    Contemporary moral psychology has been enormously enriched by recent theoretical developments and empirical findings in evolutionary biology, cognitive psychology and neuroscience, and social psychology and psychopathology. Yet despite the fact that some theorists have developed specifically “social heuristic” (Gigerenzer, 2008) and “social intuitionist” (Haidt, 2007) theories of moral judgment and behavior, and despite regular appeals to the findings of experimental social psychology, contemporary moral psychology has largely neglected the social dimensions of moral judgment and behavior. I provide a brief sketch (...)
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  • A Defense of the Rights of Artificial Intelligences.Eric Schwitzgebel & Mara Garza - 2015 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 39 (1):98-119.
    There are possible artificially intelligent beings who do not differ in any morally relevant respect from human beings. Such possible beings would deserve moral consideration similar to that of human beings. Our duties to them would not be appreciably reduced by the fact that they are non-human, nor by the fact that they owe their existence to us. Indeed, if they owe their existence to us, we would likely have additional moral obligations to them that we don’t ordinarily owe to (...)
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  • Ex Nihilo Nihil Fit? Medicine Rests on Solid Foundations.Miles Little - 2013 - Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 19 (3):467-470.
    There seem to be some misunderstandings abroad in the literature about medical epistemology and person-centered medicine concerning the nature of 'modest' or aetiological foundationalism, and some vagueness about 'emergence'. This paper urges a greater tolerance for a modest, Humean variety of foundationalism, not least because it seems to offer significant support for person-centred medicine. It also suggests a closer examination of emergence as an explanation or justification for medicine, since emergence is a complex concept that does nothing to rule out (...)
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  • Methodological Challenges for Empirical Approaches to Ethics.Christopher Shirreff - 2019 - Dissertation, University of Western Ontario
    The central question for this dissertation is, how do we do moral philosophy well from within a broadly naturalist framework? Its main goal is to lay the groundwork for a methodological approach to moral philosophy that integrates traditional, intuition-driven approaches to ethics with empirical approaches that employ empirical data from biology and cognitive science. Specifically, it explores what restrictions are placed on our moral theorizing by findings in evolutionary biology, psychology, neuroscience, and other fields, and how we can integrate this (...)
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  • Morality as an Evolutionary Exaptation.Marcus Arvan - 2021 - In Johan De Smedt & Helen De Cruz (eds.), Empirically Engaged Evolutionary Ethics. Springer - Synthese Library. pp. 89-109.
    The dominant theory of the evolution of moral cognition across a variety of fields is that moral cognition is a biological adaptation to foster social cooperation. This chapter argues, to the contrary, that moral cognition is likely an evolutionary exaptation: a form of cognition where neurobiological capacities selected for in our evolutionary history for a variety of different reasons—many unrelated to social cooperation—were put to a new, prosocial use after the fact through individual rationality, learning, and the development and transmission (...)
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  • Neuroscience Evidence Should Be Incorporated Into Our Ethical Practices.Gidon Felsen, Louise Whiteley, Roland Nadler & Peter B. Reiner - 2010 - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 1 (4):36-38.
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  • Affording Affordance Moral Realism.William A. Rottschaefer - 2021 - Biological Theory 16 (1):30-48.
    In this article I elaborate a scientifically based moral realism that I call affordance moral realism, and I offer a promissory note that affordance moral realism is the best current explanation of morality. Affordance moral realism maintains that morality is constituted by the interaction of moral agents and moral affordances. The latter are the natural and social environments in which moral agents’ activities take place and contain the objects of moral agents’ activities whose actualizations are the manifestation of substantive moral (...)
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  • Virtue in Media: The Moral Psychology of Excellence in News and Public Relations.Patrick Lee Plaisance - 2014 - Routledge.
    "This book establishes a profile of virtue in professional media practice by examining the experiences, perspectives, moral stances and demographic data of two dozen selected exemplars in journalism and public relations. It is based on both extensive personal "life story" interviews conducted with the exemplars between April 2010 and September 2012, and also survey data that assessed the exemplars' personality traits, ethical ideologies, moral reasoning skills and perceived workplace climate. The chosen exemplars span the United States and include Pulitzer Prize (...)
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  • Morality as Cognitive Scaffolding in the Nucleus of the Mesoamerican Cosmovision.Alfredo Robles Zamora - 2021 - In J. De Smedt & H. De Cruz (eds.), Empirically Engaged Evolutionary Ethics. Synthese Library. Oxford, Reino Unido:
    The aim of this chapter is to investigate changes and continuities of human moral systems from an evolutionary and socio-historical perspective. Specifically, I will argue that these systems can be approached through the lens of non-genetic inheritance systems and niche construction. I will examine morality from a comparative socio-historical perspective. From this, I suggest that these inheritance systems are cognitively scaffolded, and that these scaffolds are part of the nucleus of the historical Mesoamerican cosmovision.
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  • Moral Gridworlds: A Theoretical Proposal for Modeling Artificial Moral Cognition.Julia Haas - 2020 - Minds and Machines 30 (2):219-246.
    I describe a suite of reinforcement learning environments in which artificial agents learn to value and respond to moral content and contexts. I illustrate the core principles of the framework by characterizing one such environment, or “gridworld,” in which an agent learns to trade-off between monetary profit and fair dealing, as applied in a standard behavioral economic paradigm. I then highlight the core technical and philosophical advantages of the learning approach for modeling moral cognition, and for addressing the so-called value (...)
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  • Neuroexistentialism: Third-Wave Existentialism.Gregg D. Caruso & Owen Flanagan - 2018 - In Gregg D. Caruso Owen Flanagan (ed.), Neuroexistentialism: Meaning, Morals, and Purpose in the Age of Neuroscience. New York: Oxford University Press.
    Existentialism is a concern about the foundation of meaning, morals, and purpose. Existentialisms arise when some foundation for these elements of being is under assault. In the past, first-wave existentialism concerned the increasingly apparent inability of religion, and religious tradition, to provide such a foundation, as typified in the writings of Kierkegaard, Dostoevsky, and Nietzsche. Second-wave existentialism, personified philosophically by Sartre, Camus, and de Beauvoir, developed in response to the inability of an overly optimistic Enlightenment vision of reason and the (...)
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  • Christian Ethics and Commonsense Morality: An Intuitionist Account.Kevin Jung - 2014 - Routledge.
    Christian Ethics and Commonsense Morality goes against the grain of various postmodern approaches to morality in contemporary religious ethics. In this book, Jung seeks to provide a new framework in which the nature of common Christian moral beliefs and practices can be given a new meaning. He suggests that, once major philosophical assumptions behind postmodern theories of morality are called into question, we may look at Christian morality in quite a different light. On his account, Christian morality is a historical (...)
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  • Not So Exceptional: Away From Chomskian Saltationism and Towards a Naturally Gradual Account of Mindfulness.Andrew M. Winters & Alex Levine - 2013 - In Liz Swan (ed.), Origins of Mind. pp. 289--299.
    It is argued that a chief obstacle to a naturalistic explanation of the origins of mind is human exceptionalism, as exempli fi ed in the seventeenth century by René Descartes and in the twentieth century by Noam Chomsky. As an antidote to human exceptionalism, we turn to the account of aesthetic judgment in Charles Darwin’s Descent of Man , according to which the mental capacities of humans differ from those of lower animals only in degree, and not in kind. Thoroughgoing (...)
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  • The Necessity of Considering Folk Ethics in Moral Philosophy.Jalal Peykani - 2017 - Journal of Philosophical Investigations at University of Tabriz 11 (21):163-174.
    Contemporary ethics and moral philosophy need a kind of revision due to their negligence in human moral capacities, ordinary life, and humans’ expectations of ethics. The assumptions and presuppositions of ethics result in their current unsatisfactory status. In this paper, we first explore and criticize those presuppositions. Then, instead of introducing ideal presuppositions of ethics, we introduce folk ethics and its components in order to show that contemporary ethics and moral philosophy should always begin with folk ethics. The most important (...)
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  • A Principled and Cosmopolitan Neuroethics: Considerations for International Relevance.John R. Shook & James Giordano - 2014 - Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine 9:1.
    Neuroethics applies cognitive neuroscience for prescribing alterations to conceptions of self and society, and for prescriptively judging the ethical applications of neurotechnologies. Plentiful normative premises are available to ground such prescriptivity, however prescriptive neuroethics may remain fragmented by social conventions, cultural ideologies, and ethical theories. Herein we offer that an objectively principled neuroethics for international relevance requires a new meta-ethics: understanding how morality works, and how humans manage and improve morality, as objectively based on the brain and social sciences. This (...)
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  • Moral Agency in Media: Toward a Model to Explore Key Components of Ethical Practice.Patrick Lee Plaisance - 2011 - Journal of Mass Media Ethics 26 (2):96 - 113.
    Recent advances in moral psychology and applications of virtue science have created promising opportunities to refine theories of media practice and ethical principles. This article sets forth the theoretical foundation for a model of virtuous action among media exemplars that is multidimensional, inductive, and informed by these developments. The model draws on a range of psycho-social assessment tools to explore five key dimensions of virtuous behavior: story of the self, personality, integration of morality into the self, moral ecology, and moral (...)
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  • Naturalizing the Normative and the Bridges Between “is” and “Ought”.Katinka J. P. Quintelier & Daniel M. T. Fessler - 2011 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 34 (5):266.
    Elqayam & Evans (E&E) suggest descriptivism as a way to avoid fallacies and research biases. We argue, first, that descriptive and prescriptive theories might be better off with a closer interaction between and Moreover, while we acknowledge the problematic nature of the discussed fallacies and biases, important aspects of research would be lost through a broad application of descriptivism.
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  • Naturalizing the Normative and the Bridges Between 'Is' and 'Ought".Katinka J. P. Quintelier & Daniel M. T. Fessler - 2011 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 34 (5):266.
    Elqayam & Evans suggest descriptivism as a way to avoid fallacies and research biases. We argue, first, that descriptive and prescriptive theories might be better off with a closer interaction between and Moreover, while we acknowledge the problematic nature of the discussed fallacies and biases, important aspects of research would be lost through a broad application of descriptivism.
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  • Moral Psychology is Relationship Regulation: Moral Motives for Unity, Hierarchy, Equality, and Proportionality.Tage Shakti Rai & Alan Page Fiske - 2011 - Psychological Review 118 (1):57-75.
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  • Eudaimonic Ethics: The Philosophy and Psychology of Living Well.Lorraine Besser-Jones - 2014 - Routledge.
    In this book , Lorraine Besser-Jones develops a eudaimonistic virtue ethics based on a psychological account of human nature. While her project maintains the fundamental features of the eudaimonistic virtue ethical framework—virtue, character, and well-being—she constructs these concepts from an empirical basis, drawing support from the psychological fields of self-determination and self-regulation theory. Besser-Jones’s resulting account of "eudaimonic ethics" presents a compelling normative theory and offers insight into what is involved in being a virtuous person and "acting well." This original (...)
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  • An Archeology of Corruption in Medicine.Miles Little, Wendy Lipworth & Ian Kerridge - 2018 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 27 (3):525-535.
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  • The Darwinian Nihilist Critique of Environmental Ethics.Brian F. Snyder - 2017 - Ethics and the Environment 22 (2):59.
    Prescriptive ethics are based on the idea that humans can develop meaningful standards about right and wrong behavior. Environmental ethics aims to be prescriptive rather than simply descriptive and to define the correct behavior in the relationship between humans and the environment. That is, environmental ethics assumes that there is a "right" and a "wrong" way for humans to interact with the environment and sets about the task of discovering this right and wrong. Environmental ethicists have developed both subjective and (...)
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  • Neuroexistentialism, Eudaimonics, and Positive Illusions.Timothy Lane & Owen Flanagan - forthcoming - In Byron Kaldis (ed.), Mind and Society: Cognitive Science Meets the Philosophy of the Social Sciences. SYNTHESE Philosophy Library Studies in Epistemology, Logic, Methodology, & Philosophy of Science. Springer Science+Business.
    There is a distinctive form of existential anxiety, neuroexistential anxiety, which derives from the way in which contemporary neuroscience provides copious amounts of evidence to underscore the Darwinian message—we are animals, nothing more. One response to this 21st century existentialism is to promote Eudaimonics, a version of ethical naturalism that is committed to promoting fruitful interaction between ethical inquiry and science, most notably psychology and neuroscience. We argue that philosophical reflection on human nature and social life reveals that while working (...)
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  • Evolution and Moral Ecology.Dean Timothy - 2014 - Dissertation, The University of New South Wales
    Moral diversity is often dismissed as being something to explain away en route to discovering the correct answers to moral questions, particularly by those who adopt a realist metaethical perspective. In this thesis I argue that moral diversity is actually far more interesting than this perspective might suggest, and that understanding the causes and dynamics of moral diversity can tell us something about the nature of morality itself. I draw on the tools of evolutionary biology, game theory and moral psychology (...)
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  • Putnam, Dennett, and Others: Philosophical Resources for the World Historian.John E. Wills - 2009 - Journal of World History 20 (4):491-522.
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  • Ethics & Empiricism: What Do the Biology and the Psychology of Morality Have to Do with Ethics?Owen Flanagan, Aaron J. Ancell, Stephen Martin & Gordon Steenbergen - 2014 - In Frans de Waal, Patricia Smith Churchland, Telmo Pievani & Stefano Parmigiani (eds.), Evolved Morality: The Biology and Philosophy of Human Conscience. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill. pp. 73-92.
    What do the biology and psychology of morality have to do with normative ethics? Our answer is, a great deal.We argue that normative ethics is an ongoing, ever-evolving research program in what is best conceived as human ecology.
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