The Predictable Irrationality of Righteous Minds, and the Work of Ethicists

Hastings Center Report 43 (3):18-22 (2013)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

As Jonathan Haidt explains in The Righteous Mind, it is often our moral intuitions that come first, rapidly or even automatically, with ethical reasoning coming later. Haidt's book is one of many that have come out in recent years highlighting the relevance of psychology (and its close cousin, neuroscience) for understanding human morality. As a behavioral scientist, I have devoured many of these books. I am fascinated by human nature and love trying to understand why all of us behave and think the way we do. But as a physician ethicist, I often find myself reading these books with a parallel agenda: not just to understand human nature, but also to see whether this line of research has relevance for my work as an ethicist. My bottom line: Understanding moral psychology ought to be a required component of ethics training, not because the science will help us to differentiate between right and wrong, but because it will better equip us to teach ethics in a way that promotes moral behavior in our students.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 91,088

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Ethics and the science of animal minds.Colin Allen - 2006 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 27 (4):375-394.
Incoherence and irrationality.Donald Davidson - 1985 - Dialectica 39 (4):345-54.
Self-deception and internal irrationality.Dion Scott-Kakures - 1996 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 56 (1):31-56.
Peter McHugh’s Late Work.Stanley Raffel - 2010 - Human Studies 33 (2-3):289-292.
Functional Irrationality.Mary Tjiattas - 2000 - The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy 9:133-140.
Being in two minds: The divided mind in the ny yas tras.Joerg Tuske - 1999 - Asian Philosophy 9 (3):229 – 238.
Unprincipled virtue: an inquiry into moral agency.Nomy Arpaly - 2003 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Other minds and perceived identity.Anil Gomes - 2009 - Dialectica 63 (2):219-230.

Analytics

Added to PP
2013-11-22

Downloads
12 (#957,483)

6 months
3 (#550,572)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?