Do Emotions Play a Constitutive Role in Moral Cognition?

Topoi 34 (2):427-440 (2015)

Authors
Bryce Huebner
Georgetown University
Abstract
Recent behavioral experiments, along with imaging experiments and neuropsychological studies appear to support the hypothesis that emotions play a causal or constitutive role in moral judgment. Those who resist this hypothesis tend to suggest that affective mechanisms are better suited to play a modulatory role in moral cognition. But I argue that claims about the role of emotion in moral cognition frame the debate in ways that divert attention away from other plausible hypotheses. I suggest that the available data may be more plausibly explained by appeal to predictive and evaluative mechanisms, which are neither wholly affective nor straightforwardly cognitive. By recognizing this fact, we can begin to see why questions about the role of emotion in moral psychology are likely to be empirically misguided
Keywords Reinforcement learning  Affect  Moral psychology  Linguistic analogy
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DOI 10.1007/s11245-013-9223-6
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References found in this work BETA

The Emotional Construction of Morals.Jesse Prinz - 2007 - Oxford University Press.
The Emotional Construction of Morals.Jesse Prinz - 2009 - Analysis 69 (4):701-704.
An Integrative Theory of Prefrontal Cortex Function.Earl K. Miller & Jonathan D. Cohen - 2001 - Annual Review of Neuroscience 24 (1):167-202.

View all 49 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Moral Reasoning and Emotion.Joshua May & Victor Kumar - 2018 - In Karen Jones, Mark Timmons & Aaron Zimmerman (eds.), Routledge Handbook on Moral Epistemology. Routledge. pp. 139-156.
Regard for Reason in the Moral Mind.Joshua May - 2018 - Oxford University Press.
The Limits of Emotion in Moral Judgment.Joshua May - 2018 - In Karen Jones & Francois Schroeter (eds.), The Many Moral Rationalisms. Oxford University Press. pp. 286-306.
Repugnance as Performance Error: The Role of Disgust in Bioethical Intuitions.Joshua May - 2016 - In Steve Clarke, Julian Savulescu, C. A. J. Coady, Alberto Giubilini & Sagar Sanyal (eds.), The Ethics of Human Enhancement: Understanding the Debate. Oxford University Press. pp. 43-57.

View all 9 citations / Add more citations

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