The Limits of Emotion in Moral Judgment

In Karen Jones & François Schroeter (eds.), The Many Moral Rationalisms. New York: Oxford Univerisity Press. pp. 286-306 (2018)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

I argue that our best science supports the rationalist idea that, independent of reasoning, emotions aren’t integral to moral judgment. There’s ample evidence that ordinary moral cognition often involves conscious and unconscious reasoning about an action’s outcomes and the agent’s role in bringing them about. Emotions can aid in moral reasoning by, for example, drawing one’s attention to such information. However, there is no compelling evidence for the decidedly sentimentalist claim that mere feelings are causally necessary or sufficient for making a moral judgment or for treating norms as distinctively moral. I conclude that, even if moral cognition is largely driven by automatic intuitions, these shouldn’t be mistaken for emotions or their non-cognitive components. Non-cognitive elements in our psychology may be required for normal moral development and motivation but not necessarily for mature moral judgment.

Links

PhilArchive

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Moral Reasoning and Emotion.Joshua May & Victor Kumar - 2018 - In Aaron Zimmerman, Karen Jones & Mark Timmons (eds.), Routledge Handbook on Moral Epistemology. New York: Routledge. pp. 139-156.
Internalism, Emotionism, and the Psychopathy Challenge.Lei Zhong - 2013 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 20 (4):329-337.
The Necessity of Moral Reasoning.Leland F. Saunders - 2018 - Journal of Value Inquiry 52 (1):37-57.
Does Disgust Influence Moral Judgment?Joshua May - 2014 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (1):125-141.
Moral Reasoning: Hints and Allegations.Joseph M. Paxton & Joshua D. Greene - 2010 - Topics in Cognitive Science 2 (3):511-527.
Moral cognition, affect, and psychopathy.Michelle Maiese - 2014 - Philosophical Psychology 27 (6):807-828.
Metaethics and emotions research: A response to Prinz.Karen Jones - 2006 - Philosophical Explorations 9 (1):45-53.
Moral Judgments as Educated Intuitions.Hanno Sauer - 2017 - Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Analytics

Added to PP
2019-07-15

Downloads
1,139 (#11,226)

6 months
325 (#6,436)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Joshua May
University of Alabama, Birmingham

References found in this work

The moral problem.Michael Smith - 1994 - Cambridge, Mass., USA: Blackwell.
The emotional construction of morals.Jesse J. Prinz - 2007 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Why do humans reason? Arguments for an argumentative theory.Dan Sperber - 2011 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 34 (2):57.

View all 70 references / Add more references