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In Search of Greene's Argument

Utilitas 31 (1):38-58 (2019)

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  1. Neurons and Normativity: A Critique of Greene’s Notion of Unfamiliarity.Michael T. Dale - 2020 - Philosophical Psychology 33 (8):1072-1095.
    In his article “Beyond Point-and-Shoot Morality,” Joshua Greene argues that the empirical findings of cognitive neuroscience have implications for ethics. Specifically, he contends that we ought to trust our manual, conscious reasoning system more than our automatic, emotional system when confronting unfamiliar problems; and because cognitive neuroscience has shown that consequentialist judgments are generated by the manual system and deontological judgments are generated by the automatic system, we ought to trust the former more than the latter when facing unfamiliar moral (...)
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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 Unreliable Intuitions Objection Against Reflective Equilibrium.Norbert Paulo - 2020 - The Journal of Ethics 24 (3):333-353.
    Reflective equilibrium has been criticized for various reasons ever since the publication of Rawls’ A Theory of Justice. Recent empirical research into moral decision-making poses new challenges to RE because it questions the reliability of moral intuitions. This research might discredit moral intuitionism in general and RE in particular insofar as it ascribes epistemic value to moral intuitions. These findings suggest, for instance, that moral intuitions vary with cultural background, gender or framing. If it could be shown that all or (...)
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  • X-Phi and Impartiality Thought Experiments: Investigating the Veil of Ignorance.Norbert Paulo & Thomas Pölzler - 2020 - Diametros 17 (64):72-89.
    This paper discusses “impartiality thought experiments”, i.e., thought experiments that attempt to generate intuitions which are unaffected by personal characteristics such as age, gender or race. We focus on the most prominent impartiality thought experiment, the Veil of Ignorance, and show that both in its original Rawlsian version and in a more generic version, empirical investigations can be normatively relevant in two ways: First, on the assumption that the VOI is effective and robust, if subjects dominantly favor a certain normative (...)
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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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