PH100 Lecture Notes

Naive realism people think that they see the world as

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Naive realism: “people think that they see the world as it is whereas their opponents in a moral dispute are biased by ideology and self-interest” (823) These two are illusions because we do not realize that moral reasoning is post hoc construction and because we do not realize that our arguments will not change our opponent's mind. Moral arguments are like shadow-boxing matches: “Each contestant lands heavy blows to the opponent's shadow, then wonders why she hasn't fallen down” (823) “The bitterness, futility, and self-righteousness of most moral arguments can now be explicated. In a debate about abortion, politics, consensual incest...When the other side fails to be affected by such good reasons, each side concludes that the other side must be closed minded or insincere” (823) the power of rhetoric, powerful speeches, and visual language Are people convinced by logical arguments? 4. The Action Problem: moral action covaries with moral emotion more than with moral reasoning Double claim: There is a weak link between moral reasoning and moral action There is a weak link between moral emotions and moral action First claim: there is only a weak link between moral reasoning and moral action the connection between moral reasoning and moral action is one of correlation
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it was proposed that intelligence caused better behavior and better reasoning there is evidence that intelligence may “be related to better moral behavior by a pathway that does not run through better moral reasoning” (823): the dual process model of willpower Second claim: there is only a weak link between moral emotions and moral action A. The case of psychopaths psychopaths are not irrational, they are intelligent, they are not delusional they understand the consequences of their behaviors but do not care about those consequences they lack the ability to feel certain emotions B. Emotions led to altruism Empathy-altruism hypothesis: “[E]mpathy aroused by the perception of someone's suffering evokes an altruistic motivation directed toward the ultimate goal of reducing the suffering” (824) Agents are motivated to help others due to certain emotions Intuitions How are intuitive moral judgments made? A. Gut feelings and somatic markers Experiences in the world trigger certain emotional experiences and body feelings Repetition of such experiences creates emotional conditioning: the mere thought of certain actions/experiences causes certain emotional reactions in the agent B. Metaphor and embodiment discourse and thinking requires the use of concepts and relies on metaphors moral concepts and metaphors have certain entailments and cause certain intuitions in us Origins of Intuitions Social intuitionist model: “…morality, like language, is a major evolutionary adaptation for an intensely social species, built into multiple regions of the brain and body, that is better described as emergent than as learned yet that requires input and shaping from a particular culture. Moral intuitions are therefore both
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