Moral Imagination: Implications of Cognitive Science for Ethics

University of Chicago Press (1993)

Abstract

Using path-breaking discoveries of cognitive science, Mark Johnson argues that humans are fundamentally imaginative moral animals, challenging the view that morality is simply a system of universal laws dictated by reason. According to the Western moral tradition, we make ethical decisions by applying universal laws to concrete situations. But Johnson shows how research in cognitive science undermines this view and reveals that imagination has an essential role in ethical deliberation. Expanding his innovative studies of human reason in Metaphors We Live By and The Body in the Mind, Johnson provides the tools for more practical, realistic, and constructive moral reflection.

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