Philosophical and empirical moral psychologists claim that emotions are both necessary and sufficient for moral judgment. The aim of this paper is to assess the evidence in favor of both claims and to show how a moderate rationalist position about moral judgment can be defended nonetheless. The experimental evidence for both the necessity- and the sufficiency-thesis concerning the connection between emotional reactions and moral judgment is presented. I argue that a rationalist about moral judgment can be happy to accept the (...) necessity-thesis. My argument draws on the idea that emotions play the same role for moral judgment that perceptions play for ordinary judgments about the external world. I develop a rationalist interpretation of the sufficiency-thesis and show that it can successfully account for the available empirical evidence. The general idea is that the rationalist can accept the claim that emotional reactions are sufficient for moral judgment just in case a subject’s emotional reaction towards an action in question causes the judgment in a way that can be reflectively endorsed under conditions of full information and rationality. This idea is spelled out in some detail and it is argued that a moral agent is entitled to her endorsement if the way she arrives at her judgment reliably leads to correct moral beliefs, and that this reliability can be established if the subject’s emotional reaction picks up on the morally relevant aspects of the situation. (shrink)
Current developments in empirical moral psychology have spawned a new perspective on the traditional metaethical question of whether moral judgment is based on reason or emotion. Psychologists and cognitive neuroscientists such as Joshua Greene argue that there is empirical evidence that emotion is essential for one particularly important subclass of moral judgments: so-called ?deontological judgments.? In this paper, I scrutinize this claim and argue that neither the empirical evidence for Greene's dual process-theory of moral judgment nor the normative conclusions it (...) is supposed to yield can be maintained. More specifically, I argue that the evidence from neuroimaging relies on a problematic reverse inference, that the behavioral data are flawed, and that the findings from focal brain damage do not support the model. From a normative point of view, Greene fails to show that we ought to discount the intuitions that give rise to deontological judgments because they respond to morally irrelevant factors: firstly, I show that they do not pick up on the factors Greene deems to be morally irrelevant in the first place, and secondly, I argue that there generally is reason to trust our deontological intuitions. (shrink)
The objective of this paper is to refute the widely held view that in the wake of his so-called reistic turn Brentano subjected his notion of intentionality to a deep-going revision, viz., that he turned from an ontological account of the intentional object by way of identifying it with the thought-of-thing, i.e., the intentional correlate, or by way of attributing to it a peculiar sort of existence, to a non-ontological account thereof. It will be shown that neither the pre-reistic Brentano (...) espoused anything of an ontological account of the intentional object in that he both distinguished it sharply from the intentional correlate and definitely rejected the idea of there being different sorts of existence, and it will be argued that the apparently ineradicable inclination to ascribe to the pre-reistic Brentano an ontological account of the intentional object stems from ignoring the Aristotelian background of Brentano's thinking about relations. (shrink)
Rationalism about the psychology of moral judgment holds, among other things, that the justifying moral reasons we have for our judgments are also the causally effective reasons for why we make those judgments. This can be called the ‘effectiveness’-thesis regarding moral reasoning. The theory that best exemplifies the thesis is the traditional conscious reasoning-paradigm. Current empirical moral psychology, however, poses a serious challenge to this thesis: it argues that in fact, emotional reactions are necessary and sufficient to account for moral (...) judgment, and that typically, moral reasoning is a matter of mere confabulation. In this survey, the empirical challenge to this thesis made by the ‘social intuitionist’ model of moral judgment and reasoning is discussed. The model claims that moral reasoning is essentially ineffective and, psychologically speaking, a matter of mere post hoc-rationalizations of cognitively impenetratable gut reactions. Several interpretations of this evidence are discussed and it is shown that there is room for a psychology of moral reasoning that can account for the available empirical evidence and yet does not have to give up the most central elements of a normative picture of moral reasoning. (shrink)
Moral judgements are based on automatic processes. Moral judgements are based on reason. In this paper, I argue that both of these claims are true, and show how they can be reconciled. Neither the automaticity of moral judgement nor the post hoc nature of conscious moral reasoning pose a threat to rationalist models of moral cognition. The relation moral reasoning bears to our moral judgements is not primarily mediated by episodes of conscious reasoning, but by the acquisition, formation and maintenance (...) ? in short: education ? of our moral intuitions. (shrink)
The purpose of this study was to empirically investigate the role of pluralistic ignorance in perceptions of unethical behavior. Buckley, Harvey, and Beu (2000) suggested that pluralistic ignorance plays a role such that individuals mistakenly believe that others are more unethical than they actually are. In two studies, we confirmed that pluralistic ignorance influences perceptions of ethics in a manner consistent with what Buckley et al. suggested. The implications of pluralistic ignorance in perceptions of ethics are discussed with suggestions for (...) how pluralistic ignorance might be reduced and how research in this area may be extended. (shrink)
A formulation by Einstein of the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen incompleteness argument found in his scientific manuscripts is presented and briefly commented on. It is the only known version in which Einstein discussed the argument for spin observables. The manuscript dates, in all probability, from late 1954 or early 1955 and hence also represents Einstein's latest version of the incompleteness argument and one of his last statements on quantum theory in general. A puzzling formulation raises the question of Einstein's interpretation of space quantization (...) and the non-classical spin degree of freedom. (shrink)
Mindfulness as a clinical and nonclinical intervention for a variety of symptoms has recently received a substantial amount of interest. Although the application of mindfulness appears straightforward and its effectiveness is well supported, the concept may easily be misunderstood. This misunderstanding may severely limit the benefit of mindfulness-based interventions. It is therefore necessary to understand that the characteristics of mindfulness are based on a set of seemingly paradoxical structures. This article discusses the underlying paradox by disentangling it into five dialectical (...) positions - activity vs. passivity, wanting vs. non-wanting, changing vs. non-changing, non-judging vs. non-reacting, and active acceptance vs. passive acceptance, respectively. Finally, the practical implications for the medical professional as well as potential caveats are discussed. (shrink)
Abstract In this paper, I argue that there is a recursive relationship between history and philosophy that provides the methodological basis for the moral (human) sciences in the work of David Hume. A grasp of Hume's use of history is integral to understanding his project which I believe to be the establishment of “moral science” (i.e., the social sciences) on an empirical basis by linking that history and philosophy as two sides of the same discourse about human beings.
First, the demonstration of Bell's theorem, i.e., of the nonlocal character of quantum theory, is spelled out using the EPR criterion of reality as premises and a gedankenexperiment involving two particles. Then, the EPR criterion is extended to include quantities predicted almostwith certainty, and Bell's theorem is demonstrated on these new premises. The same experiment is used but in conditions that become possible in real life, without the requirements of ideal efficiencies and zero background. Very high efficiencies and low background (...) are needed, but these requirements may be met in the future. (shrink)
In this paper, we argue that the so-called Knobe-Effect constitutes an error. There is now a wealth of data confirming that people are highly prone to what has also come to be known as the ‘side-effect effect’. That is, when attributing psychological states—such as intentionality, foreknowledge, and desiring—as well as other agential features—such as causal control—people typically do so to a greater extent when the action under consideration is evaluated negatively. There are a plethora of models attempting to account for (...) this effect. We hold that the central question of interest is whether the effect represents a competence or an error in judgment. We offer a systematic argument for the claim that the burden of proof regarding this question is on the competence theorist. We sketch an account, based on the notion of the reactive attitudes, that can accommodate both the idea that these sorts of judgments are fundamentally normative and that they often constitute errors. (shrink)
What is the connection between emotions and moral judgments? Neo-sentimentalism maintains that to say that something is morally wrong is to think it appropriate to resent other people for doing it or to feel guilty upon doing it oneself. But intuitively, it seems that there is no way to characterize the content of guilt and resentment independent from the fact that these emotions respond to morally wrong actions. In response to this problem of circularity, modern forms of sentimentalism have favoured (...) a ‘no-priority view’, arguing that judgments of moral wrongness cannot be reduced to expressions of feelings of guilt and resentment, but that emotional responses and moral judgments mutually elucidate each other. In the present contribution, I argue that this strategy is not successful: the problem of circularity returns at a deeper level of the account, a level at which the ‘no-priority view’ can no longer escape it. The concept of ‘appropriateness’ that is invoked by neo-sentimentalism is liable to the so-called ‘conflation-problem’: it fails to distinguish between right and wrong kinds of appropriateness. In order to draw that important distinction, neo-sentimentalism has to presuppose a substantive notion of moral wrongness already. Moreover, I show that the most influential contemporary attempts to achieve an independent, non-circular ‘fix’ on the emotions fail for one of the following three reasons: they either cease to be sentimentalist, for capture the normative dimension of moral judgment or end up being circular again. (shrink)
This paper argues that we need to rethink what the object of economic analysis is; that is, what the intelligible relations of an economy are. The paper starts by acknowledging that economies are a constitutive element of human habitats. It also agrees that modern economic analysis based on the price-auction market has provided substantial knowledge about the operation of economies. However, I argue that a more fruitful line of inquiry than the price-auction market is to focus on the schemes of (...) personal and social meaning that set the context for economies. In developing this argument, I describe how such schemes function as a network of human relationships which provide the conditions of the possibilities of the emergence of economic technologies. That is, the explanandum of economy is not the classical price-auction market but the recurrent social cooperative structure (order) of economy in which markets are embedded. (shrink)
This paper takes up an underdeveloped argument of Charles Taylor that linguisticality is constitutive of moral agency. Taylor’s position is part of a set of contemporary arguments that language, especially as dialogue or discourse, is the normative framework which grounds or validates fundamental norms or values. Taylor’s contribution to this “dialogical turn” is substantial and innovative, but it is not without weakness. Rather than deal with all the issues involved in this dialogical turn, I argue just that language does ground (...) morality as a distinctively human way of creating meaning, that is, as Taylor argues, constitutive of the self and self-understanding. Self-understanding, or the appropriation of moral self-consciousness, is what is meant by the authenticity and autonomy which constitute moral authority. I argue in essence that language provides a necessary and constitutive link between private and public spheres of meaning in a way that renders moral discourse meaningful and constitutively human. (shrink)
Patients suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, frequently exhibit expiratory airflow limitation. We propose a mathematical model describing the mechanical behavior of the ventilated respiratory system. This model has to simulate applied positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) effects during expiration, a process used by clinicians to improve airflow. The proposed model consists of a nonlinear two-compartment system. One of the compartments represents the collapsible airways and mimics its dynamic compression, the (...) other represents the lung and chest wall compartment. For all clinical conditions tested (n=16), the mathematical model simulates the removal of expiratory airflow limitation at PEEP lower than 70–80% of intrinsic end-expiratory pressure (PEEPi), i.e. the end-expiratory alveolar pressure (PAet) without PEEP. It also shows the presence of an optimal PEEP. The optimal PEEP contributes to decrease PAet from 7.4 ± 0.9 (SD) to 5.4 ± 0.9 hPa (p –1.s (p –1.s (p < 0.0001; severe flow limitation). This simplistic mathematical model gives a plausible explanation of the expiratory airflow limitation removal with PEEP and a rationale to the practice of PEEP application to airflow limited patients. (shrink)
Einer der bekanntesten Beiträge Stephan Körners zur zeitgenössischen philosophischen Begrifflichkeit ist der Begriff eines kategorialen Rahmens, der eine Variante der in der zeitgenössischen Philosophie so verbreiteten, im Gegensatz zu Körners Begriff aber meist unexpliziert und vage belassenen Idee eines begrifflichen Rahmens darstellt. Es wird u.a. zu zeigen versucht, daß die Körnersche Variante des Begriffsrahmengedankens gegen die Kritik Davidsons, nach der die Idee eines Begriffsrahmens keinen verständlichen Sinn besitzen kann, immun ist.
In dieser Arbeit werden Chisholms Konzeption des Analytischen und des synthetischen Apriori sowie die damit zusammenhängenden Aspekte der Chisholmschen Eigenschaftstheorie diskutiert; es wird zu zeigen versucht, daß dieser Versuch zur Explikation des von Kant herkommenden Begriffspaares in Schwierigkeiten führt, die seine Einbettung in den ontologischen Rahmen einer Eigenschaftstheorie, wie sie Chisholm vertritt, als undurchführbar erscheinen lassen.