Mind and Society 10 (2):131-148 (2011)

Authors
Hugo Mercier
Institut Jean Nicod
Abstract
The role of reasoning in our moral lives has been increasingly called into question by moral psychology. Not only are intuitions guiding many of our moral judgments and decisions, with reasoning only finding post-hoc rationalizations, but reasoning can sometimes play a negative role, by finding excuses for our moral violations. The observations fit well with the argumentative theory of reasoning (Mercier H, Sperber D, Behav Brain Sci, in press-b), which claims that reasoning evolved to find and evaluate arguments in dialogic contexts. This theory explains the strong confirmation bias that reasoning displays when it produces arguments, which in turn explains its tendency to rationalize our decisions. But this theory also predicts that people should be able to evaluate arguments felicitously and that, as a result, people should reason better in groups, when they are confronted with other people’s arguments. Groups are able to converge on better moral judgments. It is argued that reasoning and argumentation play an important role in our everyday moral lives, and a defense of the value of reasoning for moral change is offered
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11299-011-0085-6
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: 69,979
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

Actions, Reasons, and Causes.Donald Davidson - 1963 - Journal of Philosophy 60 (23):685.
The Moral Judgement of the Child.Jean Piaget - 1933 - Philosophy 8 (31):373-374.

View all 32 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Stranger Than Fiction: Costs and Benefits of Everyday Confabulation.Lisa Bortolotti - 2018 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 9 (2):227-249.

View all 18 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Moral Reasoning.Gilbert Harman, Kelby Mason & Walter Sinnott-Armstrong - 2010 - In John Michael Doris (ed.), The Moral Psychology Handbook. Oxford University Press.
Moral Reasoning: Hints and Allegations.Joseph M. Paxton & Joshua D. Greene - 2010 - Topics in Cognitive Science 2 (3):511-527.
Moral Intuitions, Moral Expertise and Moral Reasoning.Albert W. Musschenga - 2009 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 43 (4):597-613.
Why Do Humans Reason? Arguments for an Argumentative Theory.Dan Sperber - 2011 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 34 (2):57.
Studying Moral Reasoning in Business Settings: A New Methodological Approach.Elaine Mcgivern & James Weber - 2006 - Proceedings of the International Association for Business and Society 17:18-23.
Action Learning and Moral Philosophy with Children.David A. Shapiro - 2000 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 14 (1):27-33.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2011-10-11

Total views
95 ( #122,819 of 2,504,849 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #277,627 of 2,504,849 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes