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Intuition versus Reason: Strategies People Use to Think About Moral Problems

Proceedings of the 35th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (2013)

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  1. Famine, Affluence, and Morality.Peter Singer - 1972 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 1 (3):229-243.
    As I write this, in November 1971, people are dying in East Bengal from lack of food, shelter, and medical caxc. The suffering and death that are occurring there now axe not inevitable, 1101; unavoidable in any fatalistic sense of the term. Constant poverty, a cyclone, and a civil war have turned at least nine million people into destitute refugees; nevertheless, it is not beyond Lhe capacity of the richer nations to give enough assistance to reduce any further suffering to (...)
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  • Universal Moral Grammar: Theory, Evidence, and the Future.John Mikhail - 1912 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 11 (4):143 –152.
    Scientists from various disciplines have begun to focus attention on the psychology and biology of human morality. One research program that has recently gained attention is universal moral grammar (UMG). UMG seeks to describe the nature and origin of moral knowledge by using concepts and models similar to those used in Chomsky's program in linguistics. This approach is thought to provide a fruitful perspective from which to investigate moral competence from computational, ontogenetic, behavioral, physiological and phylogenetic perspectives. In this article, (...)
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  • The Emotional Dog and Its Rational Tail.Jonathan Haidt - 2001 - Psychological Review 108 (4):814-834.
    Research on moral judgment has been dominated by rationalist models, in which moral judgment is thought to be caused by moral reasoning. The author gives 4 reasons for considering the hypothesis that moral reasoning does not cause moral judgment; rather, moral reasoning is usually a post hoc construction, generated after a judgment has been reached. The social intuitionist model is presented as an alternative to rationalist models. The model is a social model in that it deemphasizes the private reasoning done (...)
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  • Descartes' Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain.Antonio R. Damasio - 1994 - Putnam.
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  • Famine, Affluence, and Morality.Peter Singer - 1972 - Oxford University Press USA.
    In 1972, the young philosopher Peter Singer published "Famine, Affluence and Morality," which rapidly became one of the most widely discussed essays in applied ethics. Through this article, Singer presents his view that we have the same moral obligations to those far away as we do to those close to us. He argued that choosing not to send life-saving money to starving people on the other side of the earth is the moral equivalent of neglecting to save drowning children because (...)
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  • Moral Dilemmas and Moral Rules.Shaun Nichols & Ron Mallon - 2006 - Cognition 100 (3):530-542.
    Recent work shows an important asymmetry in lay intuitions about moral dilemmas. Most people think it is permissible to divert a train so that it will kill one innocent person instead of five, but most people think that it is not permissible to push a stranger in front of a train to save five innocents. We argue that recent emotion-based explanations of this asymmetry have neglected the contribution that rules make to reasoning about moral dilemmas. In two experiments, we find (...)
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  • Elements of Moral Cognition: Rawls' Linguistic Analogy and the Cognitive Science of Moral and Legal Judgment.John Mikhail - 2011 - Cambridge University Press.
    Is the science of moral cognition usefully modelled on aspects of Universal Grammar? Are human beings born with an innate 'moral grammar' that causes them to analyse human action in terms of its moral structure, with just as little awareness as they analyse human speech in terms of its grammatical structure? Questions like these have been at the forefront of moral psychology ever since John Mikhail revived them in his influential work on the linguistic analogy and its implications for jurisprudence (...)
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  • The Role of Moral Commitments in Moral Judgment.Tania Lombrozo - 2009 - Cognitive Science 33 (2):273-286.
    Traditional approaches to moral psychology assumed that moral judgments resulted from the application of explicit commitments, such as those embodied in consequentialist or deontological philosophies. In contrast, recent work suggests that moral judgments often result from unconscious or emotional processes, with explicit commitments generated post hoc. This paper explores the intermediate position that moral commitments mediate moral judgments, but not through their explicit and consistent application in the course of judgment. An experiment with 336 participants finds that individuals vary in (...)
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  • Moral Dilemmas and Moral Rules.Ron Mallona - unknown
    Recent work shows an important asymmetry in lay intuitions about moral dilemmas. Most people think it is permissible to divert a train so that it will kill one innocent person instead of five, but most people think that it is not permissible to push a stranger in front of a train to save five innocents. We argue that recent emotion-based explanations of this asymmetry have neglected the contribution that rules make to reasoning about moral dilemmas. In two experiments, we find (...)
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  • Finding Faults: How Moral Dilemmas Illuminate Cognitive Structure.Joshua D. Greene - unknown
    In philosophy, a debate can live forever. Nowhere is this more evident than in ethics, a field that is fueled by apparently intractable dilemmas. To promote the wellbeing of many, may we sacrifice the rights of a few? If our actions are predetermined, can we be held responsible for them? Should people be judged on their intentions alone, or also by the consequences of their behavior? Is failing to prevent someone’s death as blameworthy as actively causing it? For generations, questions (...)
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