David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (4):531-542 (2005)
With respect to questions of fact, people use heuristics – mental short-cuts, or rules of thumb, that generally work well, but that also lead to systematic errors. People use moral heuristics too – moral short-cuts, or rules of thumb, that lead to mistaken and even absurd moral judgments. These judgments are highly relevant not only to morality, but to law and politics as well. Examples are given from a number of domains, including risk regulation, punishment, reproduction and sexuality, and the act/omission distinction. In all of these contexts, rapid, intuitive judgments make a great deal of sense, but sometimes produce moral mistakes that are replicated in law and policy. One implication is that moral assessments ought not to be made by appealing to intuitions about exotic cases and problems; those intuitions are particularly unlikely to be reliable. Another implication is that some deeply held moral judgments are unsound if they are products of moral heuristics. The idea of error-prone heuristics is especially controversial in the moral domain, where agreement on the correct answer may be hard to elicit; but in many contexts, heuristics are at work and they do real damage. Moral framing effects, including those in the context of obligations to future generations, are also discussed.
|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
John Mikhail (2007). Universal Moral Grammar: Theory, Evidence, and the Future. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 11 (4):143 –152.
Daniel M. Bartels & David A. Pizarro (2011). The Mismeasure of Morals: Antisocial Personality Traits Predict Utilitarian Responses to Moral Dilemmas. Cognition 121 (1):154-161.
Tamar Szabó Gendler (2007). Philosophical Thought Experiments, Intuitions, and Cognitive Equilibrium. In Peter A. French & Howard K. Wettstein (eds.), Philosophy and the Empirical. Blackwell Pub. Inc. 68-89.
Robert William Fischer (forthcoming). Disgust as Heuristic. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice:1-15.
Edouard Machery (2011). Thought Experiments and Philosophical Knowledge. Metaphilosophy 42 (3):191-214.
Similar books and articles
Colin Fisher & Shishir Malde (2011). Moral Imagination or Heuristic Toolbox? Events and the Risk Assessment of Structured Financial Products in the Financial Bubble. Business Ethics 20 (2):148-158.
John Mikhail (2005). Moral Heuristics or Moral Competence? Reflections on Sunstein. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (4):557-558.
Harold A. Herzog & Gordon M. Burghardt (2005). The Next Frontier: Moral Heuristics and the Treatment of Animals. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (4):554-555.
Michael E. Gorman (2005). Heuristics, Moral Imagination, and the Future of Technology. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (4):551-551.
Paul Weirich (2005). Regulation of Risks. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (4):564-565.
Richard J. Gerrig (2005). Moral Judgments in Narrative Contexts. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (4):550-550.
Matthew D. Adler (2005). Cognitivism, Controversy, and Moral Heuristics. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (4):542-543.
Karen Bartsch & Jennifer Cole Wright (2005). Towards an Intuitionist Account of Moral Development. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (4):546-547.
Elizabeth Anderson (2005). Moral Heuristics: Rigid Rules or Flexible Inputs in Moral Deliberation? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (4):544-545.
Cass R. Sunstein (2005). On Moral Intuitions and Moral Heuristics: A Response. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (4):565-570.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads169 ( #20,285 of 1,793,012 )
Recent downloads (6 months)22 ( #35,189 of 1,793,012 )
How can I increase my downloads?