Switch to: References

Add citations

You must login to add citations.
  1. Empirical Work in Moral Psychology.Joshua May - 2017 - Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Provides an overview of empirical research relevant to philosophical questions about moral thought, feeling, reasoning, and motivation. Topics include: free will and moral responsibility, egoism and altruism, moral judgment and motivation, weakness and strength of will, moral intuitions, and moral knowledge. [Originally published in 2012. Updated and expanded in 2017.].
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  • A Limited Skeptical Threat. [REVIEW]Joshua May - 2018 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 41:35-6.
    Doris argues that our choices are heavily influenced by forces that we wouldn’t count as genuine reasons. This unsettling conclusion is motivated by a debunking argument so wide-ranging that it isn’t foisted upon us by the sciences. Doris sometimes seems to lower his ambitions when offering instead a skeptical hypothesis argument, but that conflicts with his aims in the book.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  • Regard for Reason in the Moral Mind.Joshua May - 2018 - Oxford University Press.
    The burgeoning science of ethics has produced a trend toward pessimism. Ordinary moral thought and action, we’re told, are profoundly influenced by arbitrary factors and ultimately driven by unreasoned feelings. This book counters the current orthodoxy on its own terms by carefully engaging with the empirical literature. The resulting view, optimistic rationalism, shows the pervasive role played by reason, and ultimately defuses sweeping debunking arguments in ethics. The science does suggest that moral knowledge and virtue don’t come easily. However, despite (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   11 citations  
  • How to Debunk Moral Beliefs.Victor Kumar & Joshua May - 2019 - In Jussi Suikkanen & Antti Kauppinen (eds.), Methodology and Moral Philosophy. Routledge. pp. 25-48.
    Arguments attempting to debunk moral beliefs, by showing they are unjustified, have tended to be global, targeting all moral beliefs or a large set of them. Popular debunking arguments point to various factors purportedly influencing moral beliefs, from evolutionary pressures, to automatic and emotionally-driven processes, to framing effects. We show that these sweeping arguments face a debunker’s dilemma: either the relevant factor is not a main basis for belief or it does not render the relevant beliefs unjustified. Empirical debunking arguments (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   7 citations  
  • The Limits of Emotion in Moral Judgment.Joshua May - 2018 - In Karen Jones & Francois Schroeter (eds.), The Many Moral Rationalisms. Oxford University Press. pp. 286-306.
    I argue that our best science supports the rationalist idea that, independent of reasoning, emotions aren’t integral to moral judgment. There’s ample evidence that ordinary moral cognition often involves conscious and unconscious reasoning about an action’s outcomes and the agent’s role in bringing them about. Emotions can aid in moral reasoning by, for example, drawing one’s attention to such information. However, there is no compelling evidence for the decidedly sentimentalist claim that mere feelings are causally necessary or sufficient for making (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  • A Plea for Minimally Biased Naturalistic Philosophy.Andrea Polonioli - 2019 - Synthese 196 (9):3841-3867.
    Naturalistic philosophers rely on literature search and review in a number of ways and for different purposes. Yet this article shows how processes of literature search and review are likely to be affected by widespread and systematic biases. A solution to this problem is offered here. Whilst the tradition of systematic reviews of literature from scientific disciplines has been neglected in philosophy, systematic reviews are important tools that minimize bias in literature search and review and allow for greater reproducibility and (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  • Repugnance as Performance Error: The Role of Disgust in Bioethical Intuitions.Joshua May - 2016 - In Steve Clarke, Julian Savulescu, C. A. J. Coady, Alberto Giubilini & Sagar Sanyal (eds.), The Ethics of Human Enhancement: Understanding the Debate. Oxford University Press. pp. 43-57.
    An influential argument in bioethics involves appeal to disgust, calling on us to take it seriously as a moral guide (e.g. Kass, Miller, Kahan). Some argue, for example, that genetic enhancement, especially via human reproductive cloning, is repellant or grotesque. While objectors have argued that repugnance is morally irrelevant (e.g. Nussbaum, Kelly), I argue that the problem is more fundamental: it is psychologically irrelevant. Examining recent empirical data suggests that disgust’s influence on moral judgment may be like fatigue: an exogenous (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   5 citations  
  • The Mark of the Moral: Beyond the Sentimentalist Turn.Frank Hindriks & Hanno Sauer - 2020 - Philosophical Psychology 33 (4):569-591.
    In light of recent empirical data, many psychologists and philosophers have turned away from rationalism about moral judgment and embraced sentimentalism. In the process, they have rejected the classical “moral signature” as a way of distinguishing moral from conventional norms in favor of a sentimentalist approach to carving out the moral domain. In this paper, we argue that this sentimentalist turn has been made prematurely. Although we agree that the experiments reveal that the classical approach is flawed, we propose to (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  • Can the Empirical Sciences Contribute to the Moral Realism/Anti-Realism Debate?Thomas Pölzler - 2018 - Synthese 195 (11):4907-4930.
    An increasing number of moral realists and anti-realists have recently attempted to support their views by appeal to science. Arguments of this kind are typically criticized on the object-level. In addition, however, one occasionally also comes across a more sweeping metatheoretical skepticism. Scientific contributions to the question of the existence of objective moral truths, it is claimed, are impossible in principle; most prominently, because such arguments impermissibly derive normative from descriptive propositions, such arguments beg the question against non-naturalist moral realism, (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   2 citations  
  • Moral Judgments and Emotions: A Less Intimate Relationship Than Recently Claimed.Thomas Pölzler - 2015 - Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 35 (3):177-195.
    It has long been claimed that moral judgements are dominated by reason. In recent years, however, the tide has turned. Many psychologists and philosophers now hold the view that there is a close empirical association between moral judgements and emotions. In particular, they claim that emotions (1) co-occur with moral judgements, (2) causally influence moral judgements, (3) are causally sufficient for moral judgements, and (4) are causally necessary for moral judgements. At first sight these hypotheses seem well-supported. In this paper (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   3 citations  
  • Further Problems with Projectivism.Thomas Pölzler - 2016 - South African Journal of Philosophy 35 (1):92-102.
    From David Hume onwards, many philosophers have argued that moral thinking is characterized by a tendency to “project” our own mental states onto the world. This metaphor of projection may be understood as involving two empirical claims: the claim that humans experience morality as a realm of objective facts (the experiential hypothesis), and the claim that this moral experience is immediately caused by affective attitudes (the causal hypothesis). Elsewhere I argued in detail against one form of the experiential hypothesis. My (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  • Emotional Reactions to Human Reproductive Cloning.Joshua May - 2016 - Journal of Medical Ethics 42 (1):26-30.
    [Selected as EDITOR'S CHOICE] Background: Extant surveys of people’s attitudes toward human reproductive cloning focus on moral judgments alone, not emotional reactions or sentiments. This is especially important given that some (esp. Leon Kass) have argued against such cloning on the grounds that it engenders widespread negative emotions, like disgust, that provide a moral guide. Objective: To provide some data on emotional reactions to human cloning, with a focus on repugnance, given its prominence in the literature. Methods: This brief mixed-method (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   4 citations  
  • Moral Reasoning and Emotion.Joshua May & Victor Kumar - 2018 - In Karen Jones, Mark Timmons & Aaron Zimmerman (eds.), Routledge Handbook on Moral Epistemology. Routledge. pp. 139-156.
    This chapter discusses contemporary scientific research on the role of reason and emotion in moral judgment. The literature suggests that moral judgment is influenced by both reasoning and emotion separately, but there is also emerging evidence of the interaction between the two. While there are clear implications for the rationalism-sentimentalism debate, we conclude that important questions remain open about how central emotion is to moral judgment. We also suggest ways in which moral philosophy is not only guided by empirical research (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   2 citations  
  • Reasons, Reflection, and Repugnance.Doug McConnell & Jeanette Kennett - 2016 - In Alberto Giubilini & Steve Clarke (eds.), The Ethics of Human Enhancement: Understanding the Debate. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    In this chapter we draw comparisons between Kass’ views on the normative authority of repugnance and social intuitionist accounts of moral judgement which are similarly sceptical about the role of reasoned reflection in moral judgement. We survey the empirical claims made in support of giving moral primacy to intuitions generated by emotions such as repugnance, as well as some common objections. We then examine accounts which integrate intuition and reflection, and argue that plausible accounts of wisdom are in tension with (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  • Meta-Moral Cognition: An Introduction.Reena Cheruvalath - 2019 - Mind and Society 18 (1):33-42.
    This paper examines the literature on meta-moral cognition and juxtaposes that with meta-cognition. At a basic level, the moral agent coordinates and assigns meaning to the various micro-concepts and moral concepts involved in a moral judgment. These concepts are combined to make moral assumptions. Meta-moral cognition is a higher level cognitive skill. The skill helps the moral agent to understand the cognitive process, control it, regulate the concepts and strategies used, and helps to reflect on the right and wrong of (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  • 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 (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   2 citations  
  • The Pig’s Squeak: Towards a Renewed Aesthetic Argument for Veganism.A. Holdier - 2016 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 29 (4):631-642.
    In 1906, Henry Stephens Salt published a short collection of essays that presented several rhetorically powerful, if formally deficient arguments for the vegetarian position. By interpreting Salt as a moral sentimentalist with ties to Aristotelian virtue ethics, I propose that his aesthetic argument deserves contemporary consideration. First, I connect ethics and aesthetics with the Greek concepts of kalon and kalokagathia that depend equally on beauty and morality before presenting Salt’s assertion: slaughterhouses are disgusting, therefore they should not be promoted. I (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   3 citations  
  • A Plea for Minimally Biased Empirical Philosophy.Andrea Polonioli - unknown
    Naturalistic philosophers rely on literature search and review in a number of ways and for different purposes. Yet this article shows how processes of literature search and review are likely to be affected by widespread and systematic biases. A solution to this problem is offered here. Whilst the tradition of systematic reviews of literature from scientific disciplines has been neglected in philosophy, systematic reviews are important tools that minimize bias in literature search and review and allow for greater reproducibility and (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  • What in the World Is Moral Disgust?Alberto Giubilini - 2016 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (2):227-242.
    I argue that much philosophical discussion of moral disgust suffers from two ambiguities: first, it is not clear whether arguments for the moral authority of disgust apply to disgust as a consequence of moral evaluations or instead to disgust as a moralizing emotion; second, it is not clear whether the word ‘moral’ is used in a normative or in a descriptive sense. This lack of clarity generates confusion between ‘fittingness’ and ‘appropriateness’ of disgust. I formulate three conditions that arguments for (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   7 citations  
  • Why Do People Behave Immorally When Drunk?Joseph Heath & Benoit Hardy-Vallée - 2015 - Philosophical Explorations 18 (3):310-329.
    Alcohol intoxication is a major source of antisocial behavior in our society, strongly implicated in various forms of interpersonal aggression. Yet, moral philosophers have paid surprisingly little attention to the literature on alcohol and its effects. In part, this is because philosophers who have adopted a more empirically informed approach to moral psychology have gravitated toward moral sentimentalism, while the literature on alcohol intoxication fits very poorly with the sentimentalist account. Most contemporary research on the psychological effects of alcohol is (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  • Emotion’s Influence on Judgment-Formation: Breaking Down the Concept of Moral Intuition.Corey Steiner - 2019 - Philosophical Psychology 33 (2):228-243.
    ABSTRACTRecent discussions in the field of moral cognition suggest that the relationship between emotion and judgment-formation can be described in three separate ways: firstly, it narrows our atte...
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  • Do Emotions Play a Constitutive Role in Moral Cognition?Bryce Huebner - 2015 - Topoi 34 (2):427-440.
    Recent behavioral experiments, along with imaging experiments and neuropsychological studies appear to support the hypothesis that emotions play a causal or constitutive role in moral judgment. Those who resist this hypothesis tend to suggest that affective mechanisms are better suited to play a modulatory role in moral cognition. But I argue that claims about the role of emotion in moral cognition frame the debate in ways that divert attention away from other plausible hypotheses. I suggest that the available data may (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   9 citations  
  • 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 (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  • 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 (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   5 citations  
  • Do Emotions Play an Essential Role in Moral Judgments?William H. B. McAuliffe - 2018 - Thinking and Reasoning 25 (2):207-230.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  • Emotion as the Categorical Basis for Moral Thought.Demian Whiting - 2018 - Philosophical Psychology 31 (4):533-553.
    I offer and develop an original answer to the question of whether emotion plays an important role in the formation of moral thought. In a nutshell, my answer will be that if motivational internalism provides us with a correct description of the nature of moral thought, then emotion plays an important role because emotion is required to explain or ground the behavioral dispositions that are involved in moral thought.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  • Hindering Harm and Preserving Purity: How Can Moral Psychology Save the Planet?Joshua Rottman, Deborah Kelemen & Liane Young - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (2):134-144.
    The issues of climate change and environmental degradation elicit diverse responses. This paper explores how an understanding of human moral psychology might be used to motivate conservation efforts. Moral concerns for the environment can relate to issues of harm or impurity . Aversions to harm are linked to concern for current or future generations, non-human animals, and anthropomorphized aspects of the environment. Concerns for purity are linked to viewing the environment as imbued with sacred value and therefore worthy of being (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   6 citations