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The cognitive mechanisms of intolerance

In Joshua Knobe, Tania Lombrozo & Shaun Nichols (eds.), Oxford Studies in Experimental Philosophy, Volume 1. Oxford (2014)

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  1. Should Morality Be Abolished? An Empirical Challenge to the Argument From Intolerance.Jennifer Cole Wright & Thomas Pölzler - 2022 - Philosophical Psychology 35 (3):350-385.
    Moral abolitionists claim that morality ought to be abolished. According to one of their most prominent arguments, this is because making moral judgments renders people significantly less tolerant toward anyone who holds divergent views. In this paper we investigate the hypothesis that morality’s tolerance-decreasing effect only occurs if people are realists about moral issues, i.e., they interpret these issues as objectively grounded. We found support for this hypothesis (Studies 1 and 2). Yet, it also turned out that the intolerance associated (...)
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  • The Meta-Wisdom of Crowds.Justin Sytsma, Ryan Muldoon & Shaun Nichols - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):11051-11074.
    It is well-known that people will adjust their first-order beliefs based on observations of others. We explore how such adjustments interact with second-order beliefs regarding universalism and relativism in a population. Across a range of simulations, we show that populations where individuals have a tendency toward universalism converge more quickly in coordination problems, and generate higher total payoffs, than do populations where individuals have a tendency toward relativism. Thus, in contexts where coordination is important, belief in universalism is advantageous. However, (...)
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  • 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 (...)
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  • How to Measure Moral Realism.Thomas Pölzler - 2018 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 9 (3):647-670.
    In recent years an increasing number of psychologists have begun to explore the prevalence, causes and effects of ordinary people’s intuitions about moral realism. Many of these studies have lacked in construct validity, i.e., they have failed to measure moral realism. My aim in this paper accordingly is to motivate and guide methodological improvements. In analysis of prominent existing measures, I develop general recommendations for overcoming ten prima facie serious worries about research on folk moral realism. G1 and G2 require (...)
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  • Revisiting Folk Moral Realism.Thomas Pölzler - 2017 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 8 (2):455-476.
    Moral realists believe that there are objective moral truths. According to one of the most prominent arguments in favour of this view, ordinary people experience morality as realist-seeming, and we have therefore prima facie reason to believe that realism is true. Some proponents of this argument have claimed that the hypothesis that ordinary people experience morality as realist-seeming is supported by psychological research on folk metaethics. While most recent research has been thought to contradict this claim, four prominent earlier studies (...)
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  • Anti-Realist Pluralism: a New Approach to Folk Metaethics.Thomas Pölzler & Jennifer Cole Wright - 2020 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 11 (1):53-82.
    Many metaethicists agree that as ordinary people experience morality as a realm of objective truths, we have a prima facie reason to believe that it actually is such a realm. Recently, worries have been raised about the validity of the extant psychological research on this argument’s empirical hypothesis. Our aim is to advance this research, taking these worries into account. First, we propose a new experimental design for measuring folk intuitions about moral objectivity that may serve as an inspiration for (...)
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  • The Case for Moral Empiricism.Shaun Nichols - 2021 - Analysis 81 (3):549-567.
    It is an old and venerable idea in philosophy that morality is built into us, and this nativist view has seen a resurgence of late. Indeed, the prevailing systematic account of how we acquire complex moral representations is a nativist view inspired by arguments in Chomskyan linguistics. In this article, I review the leading argument for moral nativism – the poverty of the moral stimulus. I defend a systematic empiricist alternative that draws on the resources of statistical learning. Such an (...)
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  • Moral Relativism.Christopher Gowans - 2015 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Moral relativism is an important topic in metaethics. It is also widely discussed outside philosophy (for example, by political and religious leaders), and it is controversial among philosophers and nonphilosophers alike. This is perhaps not surprising in view of recent evidence that people's intuitions about moral relativism vary widely. Though many philosophers are quite critical of moral relativism, there are several contemporary philosophers who defend forms of it. These include such prominent figures as Gilbert Harman, Jesse J. Prinz, J. David (...)
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  • Moral Decisions in (and for) Groups.Anita Keshmirian - unknown
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