Lecture 2--Ethics and Emotion ctools

Lecture 2--Ethics and Emotion ctools - EthicsandEmotions...

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Ethics and Emotions Lecture 2: Tues, January 11th
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What is Ethics? Normative Ethical Theories: Attempt to offer a systematic account of what makes an action,  practice, or character right or wrong, permissible or  impermissible, good or bad, virtuous or vicious Applied Ethics:  considers a rightness, permissibility,  etc. of particular (often controversial) moral and  political questions (e.g. about abortion, same-sex  marriage, affirmative action, assisted reproductive  technologies, etc.)
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What is  What is Ethics ?, cont. ?, cont. Meta ethics: investigates the nature of moral  judgement by asking, for example, question  about how we come to have and justify our  knowledge  of morality, what the  meaning  of  moral statements are, and in whate sense if  any moral values  exist  (do not worry too  much) Important Aside—“Ethical/Ethics” vs.  “Moral/Morality”  mean the same thing
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The Role of Emotion in Ethics? As Haidt discusses, philosophers often assume that  reasoning is the dominate way we make moral  judgments (and, in fact, this course is largely  structured to get us reasoning about morality). The Bold Claim About Ethics & Emotion:  when we  make an ethical judgment – e.g. Genocide is wrong  – this is merely the reporting or expressing of our  emotions.  So (unreasoned, bare) emotion is the  only  thing that influences our ethical judgment.
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Taboo Case 1—Tasty Fido A family's very cherished pet dog, Fido, was  killed when accidentally struck by a car in front  of their home one day. They were very sad to  lose their pet and spent the next few days  grieving.  When it came to disposing of the body,  they had previously heard that dog meat was  very tasty; so they cut up the Fido’s body,  cooked it and ate it for dinner.  Indeed, they  found it made a very tasty meal.
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Taboo 2—Sisterly/Brotherly  Love Sarah and Malcolm were brother and sister.  They were on vacation together away from  home. One night they were staying alone in a  tent on a beach. They decided it would be fun  to have sex. They were both over 21. They had  sex and enjoyed it. They knew that for medical  reasons Sarah could not get pregnant. They  decided not to have sex with each other again,  but they never regretted having had sex once.  In fact, they both enjoyed it greatly and  remember that night fondly.
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Haidt’s Analysis In experiments using “Taboo” cases “moral  dumbfounding” occurs (pg. 817) Participants “run out of reasons” (e.g. there is no  harm in the situations) to support their initial  judgment Participants laugh, stutter, seemed surprised that  they can’t offer reasons YET, they maintain the initial judgment
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