David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophical Psychology 26 (5):639-661 (2012)
In recent years, philosophers and psychologists have resurrected a debate at the intersection of metaphysics and moral psychology. The central question is whether we can conceive of moral agents as deterministic systems unfolding predictably and inevitably under constant laws without psychologically damaging the pro-social attitudes and moral emotions that grease the wheels of social life. These concerns are sparked by recent experiments documenting a decline in the ethical behavior of participants primed with deterministic metaphysics. But this literature has done little to sway most contemporary philosophers who have instead emphasized determinism's positive social impact in motivating more compassionate responses to social deviance. This article presents the case for a middle position. It argues that the ?deterministic conception of human action? (the DCA) is likely to have a dual impact on human moral psychology. On one hand, the DCA is likely to mollify one of our species? least admirable tendencies involving retributive moral anger, while concomitantly exacerbating one of our worst, namely our tendency toward moral apathy. This article begins with an overview of this emerging interdisciplinary debate, offers the evidence for a middle position, and concludes with suggestions for mitigating the negative social impact of deterministic metaphysics
|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
C. Daniel Batson (1991). The Altruism Question: Toward a Social-Psychological Answer. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Owen J. Flanagan (2003). The Problem of the Soul: Two Visions of Mind and How to Reconcile Them. Basic Books.
Robert H. Kane (1996). The Significance of Free Will. Oxford University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
John D. Greenwood (2011). On the Social Dimensions of Moral Psychology. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 41 (4):333-364.
John Doris & Stephen Stich, Moral Psychology: Empirical Approaches. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Joseph M. Paxton & Joshua D. Greene (2010). Moral Reasoning: Hints and Allegations. Topics in Cognitive Science 2 (3):511-527.
Noa Latham (2004). Determinism, Randomness, and Value. Philosophical Topics 32 (1-2):153-167.
Walter Sinnott-Armstrong (ed.) (2008). Moral Philosophy Vol. 3: The Neuroscience of Morality. MIT Press.
John Michael Doris (2010). The Moral Psychology Handbook. Oxford University Press.
Blakey Vermeule (2000). The Party of Humanity: Writing Moral Psychology in Eighteenth-Century Britain. Johns Hopkins University Press.
Peggy DesAutels & Margaret Urban Walker (eds.) (2004). Moral Psychology: Feminist Ethics and Social Theory. Rowman & Littlefield.
Richard Boyd (1972). Determinism, Laws, and Predictability in Principle. Philosophy of Science 39 (4):431-450.
William A. Rottschaefer (1998). The Biology and Psychology of Moral Agency. Cambridge University Press.
Tim Dean (2012). Evolution and Moral Diversity. The Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication 7 (1):1-16.
Thomas Nadelhoffer, Eddy A. Nahmias & Shaun Nichols (eds.) (2010). Moral Psychology: Historical and Contemporary Readings. Wiley-Blackwell.
Daniel K. Lapsley (1996). Moral Psychology. Westview Press.
Added to index2012-08-31
Total downloads24 ( #78,580 of 1,140,267 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #142,694 of 1,140,267 )
How can I increase my downloads?