Wider possibilities for moral thought -- Objectivity revisited: a lesson from the work of J.L. Austin -- Ethics, inheriting from Wittgenstein -- Moral thought beyond moraljudgment: the case of literature -- Reclaiming moraljudgment: the case of feminist thought -- Moralism as a central moral problem.
Questions regarding the nature of moraljudgment loom large in moral philosophy. Perhaps the most basic of these questions asks how, exactly, moral judgments and moral rules are to be defined; what features distinguish them from other sorts of rules and judgments? A related question concerns the extent to which emotion and reason guide moraljudgment. Are moral judgments made mainly on the basis of reason, or are they primarily the products of (...) emotion? As an example of the former view, Kant held all moral requirements to be derived from a principle of rationality (the categorical imperative). As an example of the latter, Hume famously claimed that reason is “the slave of the passions” and that moral judgments stem from the moral emotions. When addressing these issues, philosophers have largely relied on the traditional tools of philosophical analysis, along with introspection, anecdotal evidence and armchair speculation. In recent years, however, a rich body experimental psychology has emerged which, in the view of a growing number of philosophers, casts important new light on these venerable questions. Our aim, in this chapter, is to illustrate how empirical methods can help move traditional philosophical debates forward in interesting and important ways. Since space does not permit an exhaustive survey of the relevant experimental work, we will focus on a few of the most compelling examples. (shrink)
In this essay I argue that moraljudgment is a natural kind by developing an empirically grounded theory of the distinctive conceptual content of moral judgments. Psychological research on the moral/conventional distinction suggests that in moral judgments right and wrong, good and bad, praiseworthiness and blameworthiness, etc. are conceptualized as serious, general, authority-independent, and objective. After laying out the theory and the empirical evidence that supports it, I address recent empirical and conceptual objections. Finally, I (...) suggest that the theory uniquely accounts for the possibility of genuine moral agreement and disagreement. (shrink)
We propose a revised set of moral dilemmas for studies on moraljudgment. We selected a total of 46 moral dilemmas available in the literature and fine-tuned them in terms of four conceptual factors (Personal Force, Benefit Recipient, Evitability and Intention) and methodological aspects of the dilemma formulation (word count, expression style, question formats) that have been shown to influence moraljudgment. Second, we obtained normative codings of arousal and valence for each dilemma showing (...) that emotional arousal in response to moral dilemmas depends crucially on the factors Personal Force, Benefit Recipient, and Intentionality. Third, we validated the dilemma set confirming that people's moraljudgment is sensitive to all four conceptual factors, and to their interactions. Results are discussed in the context of this field of research, outlining also the relevance of our RT effects for the Dual Process account of moraljudgment. Finally, we suggest tentative theoretical avenues for future testing, particularly stressing the importance of the factor Intentionality in moraljudgment. Additionally, due to the importance of cross-cultural studies in the quest for universals in human moral cognition, we provide the new set dilemmas in six languages (English, French, German, Spanish, Catalan and Danish). The norming values provided here refer to the Spanish dilemma set. (shrink)
In this thesis, I explore motivational internalism and externalism, which concern the relationship between moral judgments and motivation. I first introduce the basic terms and different forms of internalism and externalism, including the externalist objections to internalism based on the famous counterexamples. I then argue against externalism by defending and developing Michael Smith’s fetishism argument. I not only respond to the externalist objections to the fetishism argument but also further argue against different externalist explanations of moral motivation that (...) intend to avoid the fetishism charge. Finally, I re-examine different forms of internalism in order to argue for a new form of internalism that can better preserve our internalist intuitions whilst accommodating the externalist counterexamples. My ultimate conclusion will be that the most plausible form of internalism to accept is constitutional, unconditional, relatively strong, direct internalism that is formulated in terms of dispositional desires. (shrink)
Ethical theory examines human action in general terms, whereas moraljudgment takes place in particular situations. These situations often cannot be subsumed easily under general norms and call for a delicate balance of norms and circumstances. I describe situations where opposing courses of action seem morally reasonable and I call them states of deliberative equilibrium. I review Aristotle’s and Kant’s conceptions of moraljudgment and I offer a rule for stepping from deliberation to judgment in (...) many situations of equilibrium. (shrink)
In this paper, my aim is to bring together contemporary psychological literature on emotion regulation and the classical sentimentalism of David Hume and Adam Smith to arrive at a plausible account of empathy's role in explaining patterns of moraljudgment. Along the way, I criticize related arguments by Michael Slote, Jesse Prinz, and others.
Let cognitivism be the view that moral judgments are cognitive mental states and noncognitivism the view that they are noncognitive mental states. Here I argue for moraljudgment pluralism: some moral judgments are cognitive states and some are noncognitive states. More specifically, according to my pluralism some judgments are moral because they carry a moral content (e.g., that genocide is wrong) and some are moral because they employ a moral attitude (e.g., indignation, (...) or guilt); the former are the cognitive moral judgments and the latter the noncognitive ones. After explaining and motivating the view, I argue that this kind of pluralism handles quite elegantly several of the core issues that have structured the debate on cognitivism vs. noncognitivism. (shrink)
The ability of a group of adults with high functioning autism (HFA) or Asperger Syndrome (AS) to distinguish moral, conventional and disgust transgressions was investigated using a set of six transgression scenarios, each of which was followed by questions about permissibility, seriousness, authority contingency and justification. The results showed that although individuals with HFA or AS (HFA/AS) were able to distinguish affect-backed norms from conventional affect-neutral norms along the dimensions of permissibility, seriousness and authority-dependence, they failed to distinguish (...) class='Hi'>moral and disgust transgressions along the seriousness dimension and were unable to provide appropriate welfare-based moral justifications. Moreover, they judged conventional and disgust transgressions to be more serious than did the comparison group, and the correlation analysis revealed that the seriousness rating was related to their ToM impairment. We concluded that difficulties providing appropriate moral justifications and evaluating the seriousness of transgressions in individuals with HFA/AS may be explained by an impaired cognitive appraisal system that, while responsive to rule violations, fails to use relevant information about the agent’s intentions and the affective impact of the action outcome in conscious moral reasoning. (shrink)
This long-awaited two-volume set constitutes the definitive presentation of the system of classifying moraljudgment built up by Lawrence Kohlberg and his associates over a period of twenty years. Researchers in child development and education around the world, many of whom have worked with interim versions of the system, indeed, all those seriously interested in understanding the problem of moraljudgment, will find it an indispensable resource. Volume I reviews Kohlberg's stage theory, and the by-now large (...) body of research on the significance and utility of his moral stages. Issues of reliability and validity are addressed. The volume ends with detailed instructions for using the forms in Volume 2. Volume 2, in a specially-designed, user-friendly format, includes three alternative functionally-equivalent forms of the scoring system. (shrink)
It is widely accepted in psychology and cognitive science that there are two “systems” in the mind: one system is characterized as quick, intuitive, perceptive, and perhaps more primitive, while the other is described as slower, more deliberative, and responsible for our higher-order cognition. I use the term “reflectivism” to capture the view that conscious reflection—in the “System 2” sense—is a necessary feature of good moraljudgment and decision-making. This is not to suggest that System 2 must operate (...) alone in forming our moral decisions, but that it plays a normatively ineliminable role. In this paper, I discuss arguments that have been offered in defense of reflectivism. These arguments fit into two broad categories; let us think of them as two sides of a coin. On the first side are arguments about the efficaciousness of conscious reasoning—for example, without conscious deliberation we will make bad moral judgments and decisions. On the other side of the coin are arguments about the centrality of conscious deliberation to normative actions—for example, without conscious deliberation we are no more agential than animals or automatons. Despite their attractiveness, I argue that these arguments do not successfully establish that reflection is a necessary component of good moraljudgment and decision-making. If I am right, the idea that good moraljudgment and decision-making can result from entirely automatic and subconscious processes gains traction. My goal in this paper is to show that reflectivism fails to include the full range of cases of moral decision-making and that a theory of automaticity may do a better job. I briefly discuss at the end of the paper how an account of successful automatic moraljudgment and decision-making might begin to take shape. (shrink)
ALTHOUGH I shall be attempting to examine the function of judgment, or what Aristotle called φρόνησις, in moral deliberation, I shall begin by discussing some previous opinions about what kind of importance examples have in moral experience. This strategy is only apparently circuitous. The role which one assigns to examples is symptomatic of the conception one has of judgment in moral decision-making, because the use of examples forms one way in which judgment is exercised. (...) Indirectly, then, I shall be trying to rehabilitate the significance of examples in moral deliberation. But the chief aim of this paper will be to determine both what is the function of judgment in moral deliberation and how we are to understand the activity of exercising it. (shrink)
Consider orthodox motivational judgment internalism: necessarily, A’s sincere moraljudgment that he or she ought to φ motivates A to φ. Such principles fail because they cannot accommodate the amoralist, or one who renders moral judgments without any corresponding motivation. The orthodox alternative, externalism, posits only contingent relations between moraljudgment and motivation. In response I first revive conceptual internalism by offering some modifications on the amoralist case to show that certain community-wide motivational failures (...) are not conceptually possible. Second, I introduce a theory of moral motivation that supplements the intuitive responses to different amoralist cases. According to moraljudgment purposivism (MJP), in rough approximation, a purpose of moral judgments is to motivate corresponding behaviors such that a mental state without this purpose is not a moraljudgment. MJP is consistent with conceptual desiderata, provides an illuminating analysis of amoralist cases, and offers a step forward in the internalist-externalist debates. (shrink)
This book is the first to introduce readers to contemporary philosophical works on moral judge- ment stemming from France, Germany and the Anglo-American world — many of which remain untranslated. By integrating Kantian and Aristotelian reflections on this subject, the author combines historiography and critical reflection to offer a rich picture of what it means to make good moral decisions. -/- As both Kantians and Aristotelians argue, moral judgements are ultimately grounded in the normativity of practical identities. (...) Thus, it is by identifying the obligations tied to the multiple dimensions of our identities (e.g., friend, teacher, romantic partner, citizen) that we can ultimately understand how we ought to act. Yet, Aristotle and Kant also remind us that doing so requires the acquisition of moral virtues which allow us to better discern practical reasons in concrete situations. (shrink)
We developed and tested a behavioral version of the Defining Issues Test-1 revised (DIT-1r), which is a measure of the development of moraljudgment. We conducted a behavioral experiment using the behavioral Defining Issues Test (bDIT) to examine the relationship between participants’ moral developmental status, moral competence, and reaction time when making moral judgments. We found that when the judgments were made based on the preferred moral schema, the reaction time for moral judgments (...) was significantly moderated by the moral developmental status. In addition, as a participant becomes more confident with moraljudgment, the participant differentiates the preferred versus other schemas better particularly when the participant’s abilities for moraljudgment are more developed. (shrink)
We chart how neuroscience and philosophy have together advanced our understanding of moraljudgment with implications for when it goes well or poorly. The field initially focused on brain areas associated with reason versus emotion in the moral evaluations of sacrificial dilemmas. But new threads of research have studied a wider range of moral evaluations and how they relate to models of brain development and learning. By weaving these threads together, we are developing a better understanding (...) of the neurobiology of moraljudgment in adulthood and to some extent in childhood and adolescence. Combined with rigorous evidence from psychology and careful philosophical analysis, neuroscientific evidence can even help shed light on the extent of moral knowledge and on ways to promote healthy moral development. (shrink)
An increasing number of scholars argue that moral judgements are adaptations, i.e., that they have been shaped by natural selection. Is this hypothesis true? In this paper I shall not attempt to answer this important question. Rather, I pursue the more modest aim of pointing out three difficulties that anybody who sets out to determine the adaptedness of moral judgments should be aware of (though some so far have not been aware of). First, the hypothesis that moral (...) judgements are adaptations has been advocated in various different specificities and scopes, and on various different levels. Second, the three kinds of evidence that have most often been appealed to by discussants of this hypothesis require additional arguments. And third, there is significant reasonable disagreement about what moral judgements essentially are. (shrink)
Cognitivists and non-cognitivists in contemporary meta-ethics tend to assume that moral judgments are semantically uniform. That is, they share the assumption that either all moral judgments express beliefs, or they all express non-beliefs. But what if some moral judgments express beliefs and others do not? Then moral judgments are not semantically uniform and the question “Cognitivist or non-cognitivist?” poses a false dilemma. I will question the assumption that moral judgments are semantically uniform. First, I will (...) explain what I mean by the assumption (section 2). I will call this assumption SUM, the semantic uniformity of moral judgments. Second, I will provide some examples in order to illustrate that SUM cannot be taken for granted (section 3). Third, I will try to understand, using ideas from Wittgenstein, why SUM has nevertheless so often been taken for granted (section 4). Fourth, I will discuss some authors in contemporary meta-ethics who have noted the false dilemma between cognitivism and non-cognitivism and evaluate the solutions they propose for overcoming it (section 5). Fifth, I will indicate, again with some help from Wittgenstein, how meta-ethical research about moral judgments is possible without the assumption that morality is semantically uniform (section 6). (shrink)
The present study was conducted as part of a larger study that aimed to compare moraljudgment competence and moral preferences among Pakistani students of public and private sector educational institutes and religious institutes and also to measure the pattern of development of moraljudgment competence of students within these institutes. The validation study completed in two phases, during the 1st phase data were collected from the students of grade 8 to 16 from public sector (...) schools and colleges of Rawalpindi city. Very low mean c-score was observed, the test came out to be valid on preference hierarchy criterion but its validity on the cognitive-affective parallelism and Quasi- simplex structure criteria could not be established due to low c-scores of the sample. In the second phase an additional sample from one private sector and two public sector universities was collected. The analysis of the combined sample showed no significant improvement of c-scores. The test meets well the preference hierarchy criterion but on the other two criteria results remain inconclusive due to low variance in the sample. The low c-scores are explained on the basis of three assumptions; poor quality of education, dogmatic religiosity, and weak and instable political structure of Pakistani society. (shrink)
Originally published in 1969 this book analyzes the development of moral judgement in children and adolescents. Interviews were held with 360 children aged 7 to 17, with equal numbers of either sex. Original visual devices were planned to elicit judgements in moral areas known to be of universal significance, such as the value of life, cheating, stealing and lying. In addition, analyses of concepts of reciprocity, of the development of conscience and of specificity in moral judgement were (...) derived from the tests. The book inlcudes a critical survey of previous work in this field and places the research in its wider philosophical, psychological and sociological context. (shrink)
We propose a fundamental challenge to the feasibility of moral progress: most extant theories of progress, we will argue, assume an unrealistic level of cognitive control people must have over their moral judgments for moral progress to occur. Moral progress depends at least in part on the possibility of individual people improving their moral cognition to eliminate the pernicious influence of various epistemically defective biases and other distorting factors. Since the degree of control people can (...) exert over their moral cognition tends to be significantly overestimated, the prospects of moral progress face a formidable problem, the force of which has thus far been underappreciated. In the paper, we will provide both conceptual and empirical arguments for this thesis, and explain its most important implications. (shrink)
It has long been known that people’s causal judgments can have an impact on their moral judgments. To take a simple example, if people conclude that a behavior caused the death of ten innocent children, they will therefore be inclined to regard the behavior itself as morally wrong. So far, none of this should come as any surprise. But recent experimental work points to the existence of a second, and more surprising, aspect of the relationship between causal judgment (...) and moraljudgment. It appears that the relationship can sometimes go in the opposite direction. That is, it appears that our moral judgments can sometimes impact our causal judgments. (Hence, we might first determine that a behavior is morally wrong and then, on that basis, arrive at the conclusion that it was the cause of various outcomes.). (shrink)
This paper compares and contrasts two distinct techniques for measuring moraljudgment: The MoralJudgment Interview and the Defining Issues Test. The theoretical foundations, accompanying advantages and limitations, as well as appropriate usage of these methodologies are discussed. Adaptation and use of the instruments for business ethics research is given special attention.
A traditional idea is that moraljudgment involves more than calculating the consequences of actions; it also requires an assessment of the agent's intentions, the act's nature, and whether the agent uses another person as a means to her ends. I survey experimental developments suggesting that ordinary people often tacitly reason in terms of such deontological rules. It's now unclear whether we should posit a traditional form of the doctrine of double effect. However, further research suggests that a (...) range of non-consequentialist factors influence moraljudgment, including intentions, commissions, personal harm, and agent-centered commitments. Many, if not all, such factors appear to affect how involved the agent is in bringing about an outcome. (shrink)
Empathic feelings seem to causally influence our moral judgments at least sometimes. But is empathy necessary for our ability to make moral judgments? And is it a good thing if our judgments are based on empathy? This chapter examines the contemporary debate on these issues.
We argue that there is significant evidence for reconsidering the possibility that moraljudgment constitutes a distinctive category of judgment. We begin by reviewing evidence and arguments from neuroscience and philosophy that seem to indicate that a diversity of brain processes result in verdicts that we ordinarily consider “moral judgments”. We argue that if these findings are correct, this is plausible reason for doubting that all moral judgments necessarily share common features: if diverse brain processes (...) give rise to what we refer to as “moral judgments”, then we have reason to suspect that these judgments may have different features. After advancing this argument, we show that giving up the unity of moraljudgment seems to effectively dissolve the internalism/externalism debate concerning motivation within the field of metaethics. (shrink)
The editor of this anthology discusses the distinction between normative ethics and meta-ethics, and provides lucid organizational prefaces to each of the five chapters. The first four are arranged on a "thesis-reply" model. For example, essays by Ayer and Stevenson present an 'emotive-imperative' account of moral judgments, while essays by Blanshard and Baier afford critical replies. There are similarly arranged treatments of objectivism, subjectivism and instrumentalism. The final chapter is given over to "new directions" in meta-ethical theory, and contains (...) readings on the use of moral words and the logic of moral reasoning.--N. S. C. (shrink)
In this book, Mary Midgely turns a spotlight on the fashionable view that we no longer need or use moral judgements. She shows how the question of whether or not we can make moral judgements must inevitably affect our attitudes to the law and its institutions, but also to events that occur in our daily lives.
Research on moraljudgment is refueling public interest in an old debate concerning the general foundation of morals. Are moral judgments based on reason or on feeling? Recent research in moral psychology and neuroscience concludes that moral judgments occur rapidly, automatically, and largely without the aid of inference. Such findings are utilized to criticize moral theories that require deliberation to precede moraljudgment as its cause. The main targets of this criticism are (...) the moral theories of Piaget and Kohlberg, but Kant's moral philosophy is also criticized for this failing. This essay defends Kant from this charge by clarifying the role of deliberation in his moral theory and by demonstrating that, for Kant, moraljudgment invokes a self-organizing system that has the capacity to rapidly determine the moral permissibility of any desired purpose - real or imagined. Further support for Kant's moral theory is gleaned from recent work on self-organization in the brain. (shrink)
The philosophical debate about the concept of Law is dominated by two traditions: Legal Positivism and Natural-Law Theory. Within Anglo-American Jurisprudence, Legal Positivism is unquestionably the more popular approach. Whilst in recent years there have been a number of assaults upon this ruling view, opposition to Legal Positivism is still very much at the margins of contempory Jurisprudence, The authors of this major work argue, however, that Legal Positivism should be rejected, contending that it is incorrect not in some minor (...) detail but in what they take to be its central tenet, the thesis that the concept of law is morally neutral. Their contention amounts to a rejection of Legal Positivism in favour of Natural-Law Theory. Law as a MoralJudgment is an important and controversial contribution to Jurisprudence. It puts forward a coherent and well argued case which will have to be answered by those of opposed opinion. (shrink)
I criticize an important argument of Michael Smith, from his recent book The Moral Problem (Oxford: Blackwell, 1994). Smith's argument, if sound, would undermine one form of moral externalism 2013 that which insists that moral judgements only contingently motivate their authors. Smith claims that externalists must view good agents as always prompted by the motive of duty, and that possession of such a motive impugns the goodness of the agent. I argue (i) that externalists do not (ordinarily) (...) need to assign moral agents such as a motive, and (ii) that possession of this motive, when properly understood, is morally admirable. (shrink)
Recent, well-publicized accounting scandals have shown that the penalties outsiders impose on those found culpable of earnings management can be severe. However, less is known about how colleagues within internal labor markets respond when they believe fellow managers have managed earnings. Designers of responsibility accounting systems need to understand the reputational costs managers impose on one another within internal labor markets. In an experimental study, 159 evening MBA students were asked to assume the role of a manager in a company (...) and respond to a scenario in which another manager (the target manager) has the opportunity to engage in earnings management. Participants provided causal attributions, assessed the morality of the target manager, and indicated whether they would change their judgments about the target manager's reputation. The study manipulated three between-subjects factors: (1) whether the target manager chose to engage in earnings management, (2) whether the company's budgetary control system was rigid or flexible, and (3) whether the target manager's work history was average or above average. We found that causal attributions are affected more by the budgetary systems when the target did not manage earnings than when the manager did. We also found that morality judgments were significantly associated with the target manager's behavior, but not with the budgetary system. In addition, participants' judgments about the target manager's reputation were more strongly associated with morality judgments than with causal attributions. We discuss implications of the role of reputation in management control systems design. (shrink)
Since the 18th century, one of the key features of diagnosed psychopaths has been “moral colorblindness” or an inability to form moral judgments. However, attempts at experimentally verifying this moral incapacity have been largely unsuccessful. After reviewing the centrality of “moral colorblindness” to the study and diagnosis of psychopathy, I argue that the reason that researchers have been unable to verify that diagnosed psychopaths have an inability to make moral judgments is because their research is (...) premised on the assumption that there is a specific moral faculty of the brain, or specific “moral” emotions, and that this faculty or set of emotions can become “impaired”. I review recent research and argue that we have good reason to think that there is no such distinct capacity for moraljudgment, and that, as a result, it is impossible for someone’s “moraljudgment faculty” to become selectively disabled. I then discuss the implications of such a position on psychopathy research, the coherence of the disorder, and the moral responsibility of psychopaths. (shrink)
Philosophers have predominantly regarded morality and aesthetics judgments as fundamentally different. However, whether this claim is empirically founded has remained unclear. In a novel task, we measured brain activity of participants judging the aesthetic beauty of artwork or the moral goodness of actions depicted. To control for the content of judgments, participants assessed the age of the artworks and the speed of depicted actions. Univariate analyses revealed whole-brain corrected, content-controlled common activation for aesthetics and morality judgments in frontopolar, dorsomedial (...) and ventrolateral prefrontal cortex. Temporoparietal cortex showed activation specific for morality judgments, occipital cortex for aesthetics judgments. Multivariate analyses revealed both common and distinct whole-brain corrected representations for morality and aesthetics judgments in temporoparietal and prefrontal regions. Overall, neural commonalities are more pronounced than predominant philosophical views would predict. They are compatible with minority accounts that stress commonalities between aesthetics and morality judgments, such as sentimentalism and a valuation framework. (shrink)
The past decade has seen a renewed interest in moral psychology. A unique feature of the present endeavor is its unprecedented interdisciplinarity. For the first time, cognitive, social, and developmental psychologists, neuroscientists, experimental philosophers, evolutionary biologists, and anthropologists collaborate to study the same or overlapping phenomena. This review focuses on moral judgments and is written from the perspective of cognitive psychologists interested in theories of the cognitive and affective processes underlying judgments in moral domains. The review will (...) first present and discuss a variety of different theoretical and empirical approaches, including both behavioral and neuroscientific studies. We will then show how these theories can be applied to a selected number of specific research topics that have attracted particular interest in recent years, including the distinction between moral and conventional rules, moral dilemmas, the role of intention, and sacred/protected values. One overarching question we will address throughout the chapter is whether moral cognitions are distinct and special, or whether they can be subsumed under more domain-general mechanisms. (shrink)
What is the connection between emotions and moral judgments? Neo-sentimentalism maintains that to say that something is morally wrong is to think it appropriate to resent other people for doing it or to feel guilty upon doing it oneself. But intuitively, it seems that there is no way to characterize the content of guilt and resentment independent from the fact that these emotions respond to morally wrong actions. In response to this problem of circularity, modern forms of sentimentalism have (...) favoured a ‘no-priority view’, arguing that judgments of moral wrongness cannot be reduced to expressions of feelings of guilt and resentment, but that emotional responses and moral judgments mutually elucidate each other. In the present contribution, I argue that this strategy is not successful: the problem of circularity returns at a deeper level of the account, a level at which the ‘no-priority view’ can no longer escape it. The concept of ‘appropriateness’ that is invoked by neo-sentimentalism is liable to the so-called ‘conflation-problem’: it fails to distinguish between right and wrong kinds of appropriateness. In order to draw that important distinction, neo-sentimentalism has to presuppose a substantive notion of moral wrongness already. Moreover, I show that the most influential contemporary attempts to achieve an independent, non-circular ‘fix’ on the emotions fail for one of the following three reasons: they either cease to be sentimentalist, for capture the normative dimension of moraljudgment or end up being circular again. (shrink)
While there is much evidence for the influence of automatic emotional responses on moraljudgment, the roles of reflection and reasoning remain uncertain. In Experiment 1, we induced subjects to be more reflective by completing the Cognitive Reflection Test prior to responding to moral dilemmas. This manipulation increased utilitarian responding, as individuals who reflected more on the CRT made more utilitarian judgments. A follow-up study suggested that trait reflectiveness is also associated with increased utilitarian judgment. In (...) Experiment 2, subjects considered a scenario involving incest between consenting adult siblings, a scenario known for eliciting emotionally driven condemnation that resists reasoned persuasion. Here, we manipulated two factors related to moral reasoning: argument strength and deliberation time. These factors interacted in a manner consistent with moral reasoning: A strong argument defending the incestuous behavior was more persuasive than a weak argument, but only when increased deliberation time encouraged subjects to reflect. (shrink)
We propose that the prevalent moral aversion to AWS is supported by a pair of compelling objections. First, we argue that even a sophisticated robot is not the kind of thing that is capable of replicating human moraljudgment. This conclusion follows if human moraljudgment is not codifiable, i.e., it cannot be captured by a list of rules. Moraljudgment requires either the ability to engage in wide reflective equilibrium, the ability to (...) perceive certain facts as moral considerations, moral imagination, or the ability to have moral experiences with a particular phenomenological character. Robots cannot in principle possess these abilities, so robots cannot in principle replicate human moraljudgment. If robots cannot in principle replicate human moraljudgment then it is morally problematic to deploy AWS with that aim in mind. Second, we then argue that even if it is possible for a sufficiently sophisticated robot to make ‘moral decisions’ that are extensionally indistinguishable from (or better than) human moral decisions, these ‘decisions’ could not be made for the right reasons. This means that the ‘moral decisions’ made by AWS are bound to be morally deficient in at least one respect even if they are extensionally indistinguishable from human ones. Our objections to AWS support the prevalent aversion to the employment of AWS in war. They also enjoy several significant advantages over the most common objections to AWS in the literature. (shrink)
This comparative field study evaluated the moral reasoning used by U.S. and Belizean business students in resolving business-related moral dilemmas. The Belizeans, citizens of a less-developed country with Western heritage and a values-based education system, revolved the dilemmas using higher stages of moraljudgment than did the U.S. business students.