Philosophy of the Social Sciences 43 (2):157-200 (2013)

Abstract
In this article I ask what recent moral psychology and neuroscience can and can’t claim to have discovered about morality. I argue that the object of study of much recent work is not morality but a particular kind of individual moral judgment. But this is a small and peculiar sample of morality. There are many things that are moral yet not moral judgments. There are also many things that are moral judgments yet not of that particular kind. If moral things are various and diverse, then empirical research about one kind of individual moral judgment doesn’t warrant theoretical conclusions about morality in general. If that kind of individual moral judgment is a peculiar and rare thing, then it is not obvious what it tells us about other moral things. What is more, it is not obvious what its theoretical importance is to begin with—that is, why we should care about it at all. In light of these arguments, I call for a pluralism of methods and objects of inquiry in the scientific investigation of morality, so that it transcends its problematic overemphasis on a particular kind of individual moral judgment
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DOI 10.1177/0048393112440597
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References found in this work BETA

Word and Object.Willard Van Orman Quine - 1960 - Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press.
How the Laws of Physics Lie.Nancy Cartwright - 1983 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory.Alasdair C. MacIntyre - 1983 - University of Notre Dame Press.
Action in Perception.Alva Noë - 2005 - MIT Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Moral Decisionism and its Discontents.Gabriel Abend - forthcoming - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour.

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