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paper 2 shtuff - I will argue that deontological judgments...

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I will argue that deontological judgments tend to be driven by emotional responses, and that deontological philosophy, rather than being grounded in moral reasoning , is to a large extent an exercise in moral rationalization . This is in contrast to consequentialism, which, I will argue, arises from rather different psychological processes, ones that are more “cognitive,” and more likely to involve genuine moral reasoning. These claims are strictly empirical, and I will defend them on the basis of the available evidence. Needless to say, my argument will be speculative and will not be conclusive. Beyond this, I will argue that if these empirical claims are true, they may have normative implications, casting doubt on deontology as a school of normative moral thought. 2-3 Greene There have been many such normative attempts to solve the trolley problem, but none of them has been terribly successful (Fischer and Ravizza, 1992). My collaborators and I have proposed a partial and purely descriptive solution to this problem and have collected some scientific evidence in favor of it. We hypothesized that the thought of pushing someone to his death in an “up close and personal” manner (as in the footbridge dilemma) is more emotionally salient than the thought of bringing about similar consequences in a more impersonal way (e.g. by hitting a switch, as in the trolley dilemma). We proposed that this difference in emotional response explains why people respond so differently to these two cases. That is, people tend toward consequentialism in the case in which the emotional response is low and tend toward deontology in the case in which the emotional response is high. 10-11 Greene consequentialist: pushing fat man onto railroad tracks to save 5 is ok deontologist: pushing fat man to his death is wrong
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This note was uploaded on 02/26/2012 for the course HPS 0625 taught by Professor Macheray during the Fall '09 term at Pittsburgh.

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paper 2 shtuff - I will argue that deontological judgments...

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