More than a feeling: counterintuitive effects of compassion on moral judgment

In Justin Sytsma (ed.), Advances in Experimental Philosophy of Mind. New York: Bloomsbury. pp. 125-179 (2014)
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Abstract

Seminal work in moral neuroscience by Joshua Greene and colleagues employed variants of the well-known trolley problems to identify two brain networks which compete with each other to determine moral judgments. Greene interprets the tension between these brain networks using a dual process account which pits deliberative reason against automatic emotion-driven intuitions: reason versus passion. Recent neuroscientific evidence suggests, however, that the critical tension that Greene identifies as playing a role in moral judgment is not so much a tension between reason and passion, but a tension between distinct forms of deliberative reasoning: analytic versus empathetic. In this paper we present results from several new studies supporting this alternative hypothesis.

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Author Profiles

Anthony I. Jack
Case Western Reserve University
Jared Friedman
Case Western Reserve University
Philip Robbins
University of Missouri, Columbia

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