Philosophical Psychology 33 (7):902-923 (2020)

Andrew Sneddon
University of Ottawa
Eric Schwitzgebel, Fiery Cushman, and Joshua Rust have conducted a series of studies of the thought and behavior of professional ethicists. They have found no evidence that ethical reflection yields distinctive improvements in behavior. This work has been done on English-speaking ethicists. Philipp Schönegger and Johannes Wagner replicated one study with German-speaking professors. Their results are almost the same, except for finding that German-speaking ethicists were more likely to be vegetarian than non-ethicists. The present paper devises and evaluates eleven psychological hypotheses (along with one from Schönegger and Wagner) aimed at explaining why ethical reflection might have motivational influence for this topic but not for others. Three hypotheses are judged to be plausible at this initial stage: generic emotional support, perception of cost as a source of emotional obstacles, and social categorization.
Keywords ethical reflection  emotion  reason  categorization  vegetarianism
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DOI 10.1080/09515089.2020.1787973
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Animal Liberation.Bill Puka & Peter Singer - 1977 - Philosophical Review 86 (4):557.
Mapping the Moral Domain.Jesse Graham, Brian A. Nosek, Jonathan Haidt, Ravi Iyer, Spassena Koleva & Peter H. Ditto - 2011 - Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 101 (2):366-385.

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