How not to argue that morality isn't innate: Comments on Jesse Prinz's “is morality innate?”
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
We must admire the ambition of Prinz’s title question. But does he provide a convincing answer to it? Prinz’s own view of morality as “a byproduct – accidental or invented – of faculties that evolved for different purposes (1),” which appears to express a negative reply, does not receive much direct argument here. Rather, Prinz’s main aim is to try to show that the considerations he believes are typically presented by moral nativists are insufficient or inadequate to establish that morality is innate. He discusses, individually, how much evidential weight the (alleged) existence of (1) universal moral norms, (2) universal moral domains, (3) fixed stages in moral development, and (4) precursors to morality among non-human animals lend to nativist claims, and, in addition, he argues that poverty-of-the-moral-stimulus arguments are as yet unconvincing. “[C]urrent evidence,” Prinz claims, “is consistent with the conclusion that children acquire moral competence through experience (22).” It is not my intention here to follow Prinz’s piecemeal criticisms of moral nativism. In their attacks on linguistic nativism (see, e.g., Cowie 1999) and now on moral nativism, empiricists typically deploy the..
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Bongrae Seok (2008). Mencius's Vertical Faculties and Moral Nativism. Asian Philosophy 18 (1):51 – 68.
David Copp (2011). Jesse Prinz, The Emotional Construction of Morals (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007): Prinz's Subjectivist Moral Realism1. Noûs 45 (3):577-594.
Kathryn Paxton George (1992). Moral and Nonmoral Innate Constraints. Biology and Philosophy 7 (2):189-202.
Jesse J. Prinz (2009). Against Moral Nativism. In Dominic Murphy & Michael A. Bishop (eds.), Stich and His Critics. Wiley-Blackwell. 167--189.
Karen Jones (2006). Metaethics and Emotions Research: A Response to Prinz. Philosophical Explorations 9 (1):45-53.
Jesse J. Prinz (2007). The Emotional Construction of Morals. Oxford University Press.
Shaun Nichols (2005). Innateness and Moral Psychology. In Peter Carruthers, Stephen Laurence & Stephen Stich (eds.), The Innate Mind: Structure and Contents. New York: Oxford University Press New York. 353--369.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads79 ( #16,350 of 1,098,996 )
Recent downloads (6 months)0
How can I increase my downloads?