Philosophical Quarterly 70 (280):502-523 (2020)

Dustin Locke
Claremont McKenna College
Josh Greene famously argued that his cognitive-scientific results undermine deontological moral theorizing. Greene is wrong about this: at best, his research has revealed that at least some characteristically deontological moral judgments are sensitive to factors that we deem morally irrelevant. This alone is not enough to undermine those judgments. However, cognitive science could someday tell us more: it could tell us that in forming those judgments, we treat certain factors as reasons to believe as we do. If we independently deem such factors to be morally irrelevant, such a result would undermine those judgments and any moral theorizing built upon them. This paper attempts to bring charity, clarity, and epistemological sophistication to Greene's argument and those like it.
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DOI 10.1093/pq/pqz072
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