Philosophical Psychology 33 (2):244-261 (2020)

Authors
Tanya de Villiers-Botha
University of Stellenbosch
Abstract
Recent work in moral psychology that claims to show that human beings make moral judgements on the basis of multiple, divergent moral foundations has been influential in both moral psychology and moral philosophy. Primarily, such work has been taken to undermine monistic moral theories, especially those pertaining to the prevention of harm. Here, I call one of the most prominent and influential empirical cases for moral pluralism into question, namely that of Jonathan Haidt and his colleagues. I argue that Haidt et al.’s argument is not as strong as it is often made out to be, given significant problems with the design of one of the key experiments used to ground the claim that there are divergent moral foundations across cultures. The flaws that I point out pose a significant challenge to Haidt et al.’s findings and have a detrimental impact on subsequent work based on this immensely influential experiment. Accordingly, I argue that both empirical and normative claims made on the basis of Haidt et al.’s findings should be treated with caution. I conclude by making some suggestions as to how some of the problems that I point out might be addressed.
Keywords Haidt  moral pluralism  harm  Moral Foundations Theory
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2019, 2020
DOI 10.1080/09515089.2019.1688776
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 51,756
External links

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

The Weirdest People in the World?Joseph Henrich, Steven J. Heine & Ara Norenzayan - 2010 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (2-3):61-83.
The Emotional Basis of Moral Judgments.Jesse Prinz - 2006 - Philosophical Explorations 9 (1):29-43.
Mind Perception is the Essence of Morality.Kurt Gray, Liane Young & Adam Waytz - 2012 - Psychological Inquiry 23 (2):101-124.
Normative Ethics.Shelly Kagan - 2000 - Mind 109 (434):373-377.

View all 26 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Why Not Road Ethics?Meshi Ori - 2020 - Theoria 86 (3):389-412.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Promises of Moral Foundations Theory.Bert Musschenga - 2013 - Journal of Moral Education 42 (3):330-345.
The Wisdom of the Pack.Neil Levy - 2006 - Philosophical Explorations 9 (1):99 – 103.
Morphological Rationalism and the Psychology of Moral Judgment.Terry Horgan & Mark Timmons - 2007 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 10 (3):279-295.
Empirical Work in Moral Psychology.Joshua May - 2017 - Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2019-01-21

Total views
20 ( #487,104 of 2,333,952 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
9 ( #69,588 of 2,333,952 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes