Moral Neuroscience and Moral Philosophy: Interactions for Ecological Validity

Kagaku Tetsugaku 42 (2):41-58 (2009)
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Abstract
Neuroscientific claims have a significant impact on traditional philosophy. This essay, focusing on the field of moral neuroscience, discusses how and why philosophy can contribute to neuroscientific progress. First, viewing the interactions between moral neuroscience and moral philosophy, it becomes clear that moral philosophy can and does contribute to moral neuroscience in two ways: as explanandum and as explanans. Next, it is shown that moral philosophy is well suited to contribute to moral neuroscience in both of these two ways in the context of the problem of ecological validity. Philosophy can play the role of an agent for ecological validity, since traditional philosophy shapes and reflects part of our social reality. Finally, based on these arguments, I tentatively sketch how a Kantian account of moral incentive can play this role.
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