Cleanliness is Next to Morality, Even for Philosophers

Kevin P. Tobia
Yale University
A number of studies have shown that seemingly morally irrelevant factors influence the moral judgments of ordinary people. Some argue that philosophers are experts and are significantly less susceptible to such effects. We tested whether an unconscious cleanliness prime – the smell of Lysol – affects the judgments of both non-philosophers and professional philosophers. Our results suggest that the direction of cleanliness effects depends both on the respondent and whether the question is framed in the second or third person. They also provide evidence that cleanliness cues affect the moral judgments of both non-philosophers and philosophers, challenging the philosopher-as-expert view.
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Intuitive Expertise and Intuitions About Knowledge.Joachim Horvath & Alex Wiegmann - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (10):2701-2726.
Philosophical Expertise.Jennifer Ellen Nado - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (9):631-641.
Intuition Fail: Philosophical Activity and the Limits of Expertise.Wesley Buckwalter - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 89 (2):378-410.

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