Communication strategies to shape public opinion can be applied to the philosophical program of conceptual engineering. I propose to look for answers to the implementation challenge for conceptual engineering on similar challenges that arise in other contexts, such as that of social movements. I claim that conceptual engineering is successfully practiced in other areas with direct consequences on the political landscape, and that we can apply to philosophy what we might learn from those successful practices. With that end in mind, (...) I explain the psychological approach to conceptual engineering. I present what has been called “the implementation challenge”, which is the problem that emerges from the possibility of control over the content of our concepts. The challenge consists in that if there is not such a control, conceptual engineering is not implementable. Then, I review some of the reactions that have been given to that challenge, and I defend the feasibility of conceptual engineering appealing to the collective action frames that social movements endorse as an instance of a successful kind of conceptual engineering and derive some strategies that might be of use for conceptual engineering in philosophy. Finally, I reply to some anticipated objections to my proposal. (shrink)
In this paper, we take Darwall’s analytical project of the second-person standpoint as the starting point for a naturalistic project about our moral psychology. In his project, Darwall contends that our moral notions constitutively imply the perspective of second-personal interaction, i.e. the interaction of two mutually recognized agents who make and acknowledge claims on one another. This allows him to explain the distinctive purported authority of morality. Yet a naturalized interpretation of it has potential as an account of our moral (...) psychology. We propose a naturalistic interpretation of Darwall’s work to address some of the main issues about our moral psychology. First, we explain why moral norms motivate us; namely, because of these second-personal relations. We provide a naturalized version of this solution. Second, we articulate how intersubjective interactions take place effectively; grounding duties to particular other subjects, and being related to distinctive moral emotions. Third, we address the question of the limits of the moral community, proposing that it comprises all agents capable of second-personal interactions. Finally, we explain the emergence of community norms through intersubjective interaction. Since all group members can adopt alternatively the second-personal stance to each other, demands are sanctioned and recognized in a triangulation process which explains the emergence of group norms. (shrink)
Emotional contagion is a phenomenon that has attracted much interest in recent times. However, the main approach on offer, the mimicry theory, fails to properly account for its many facets. In particular, we focus on two shortcomings: the elicitation of emotional contagion is not context-independent, and there can be cases of emotional contagion without motor mimicry. We contend that a general theory of emotion elicitation is better suited to account for these features, because of its multi-level appraisal component. From this (...) standpoint, emotional contagion is viewed as a particular kind of emotional response that involves the same components and processes of emotional responses in general. (shrink)
We show that externalization is a feature not only of moral judgment, but also of value judgment in general. It follows that the evolution of externalization was not specific to moral judgment. Second, we argue that value judgments cannot be decoupled from the level of motivations and preferences, which, in the moral case, rely on intersubjective bonds and claims.
The love that we feel for our friends plays an essential role in both our moral motivation to act towards them; and in our moral obligations towards them, that is, in our special duties. We articulate our proposal as a reply to Stephen Darwall’s second-person proposal, which we take to be a contemporary representative of the Kantian view. According to this view, love does not have a necessary role neither in moral motivation, nor in moral obligation; just a complementary one. (...) Yet this proposal faces three difficulties: a psychological problem, a practical problem, and a theoretical problem. In contrast, we argue that both moral motivation, and moral obligations emerge from our interpersonal relations with particular others. We further argue that obligations in the context of friendship are moral because they come with a feeling of obligation and have been internalized. Thus, the three problems raised to the Kantian position are clarified, and the role of love is emphasized in both our moral motivation, and our moral obligations towards friends. (shrink)
Building on the discussion between Stephen Darwall and Michael Tomassello, we propose an alternative evolutionary account of moral motivation in its two-pronged dimension. We argue that an evolutionary account of moral motivation must account for the two forms of moral motivation that we distinguish: motivation to be partial, which is triggered by the affective relationships we develop with others; and motivation to be impartial, which is triggered by those norms to which we give impartial validity. To that aim, we present (...) the second-person standpoint of morality, first as Darwall conceives of it, and then as we reinterpret it from a naturalistic approach. Then we synthesize Tomasello’s evolutionary account of morality, and Darwall’s objections to it. To reply to those objections, building on Tomasello’s proposal, we argue that the motivation to be impartial, and the feeling of obligation to comply with normative requirements, appeared when humans anticipated and, critically, internalized others’ sanctions to the violation of social norms. Consequently, we posit that social norms and sanctions appeared first at the community level, and only after that were they internalized in the form of self-directed reactive attitudes. Finally, we derive some corollaries that follow from our proposal. (shrink)
This paper proposes an intermediate account of personhood, based on the capacity to participate in intersubjective interactions. We articulate our proposal as a reply to liberal and restrictive accounts, taking Mark Rowlands’ and Stephen Darwall’s proposals as contemporary representatives of each view, respectively. We argue that both accounts fall short of dealing with borderline cases and defend our intermediate view: The criteria of personhood based on the second-person perspective of mental state attribution. According to it, a person should be able (...) to participate in intersubjective interactions. We apply our proposal to the borderline cases of non-human primates and human infants. (shrink)
In this paper we discuss Prinz’s Kantian arguments in “Is Empathy Necessary for Morality?”. They purport to show that empathy is not necessary for morality because it is not part of the capacities required for moral competence and it can bias moral judgment. First, we show that even conceding Prinz his notions of empathy and moral competence, empathy still plays a role in moral competence. Second, we argue that moral competence is not limited to moral judgment. Third, we reject Prinz’s (...) notion of empathy because it is too restrictive, in requiring emotional matching. We conclude that once morality and empathy are properly understood, empathy’s role in morality is vindicated. Morality is not reduced to a form of rational judgment, but it necessarily presupposes pro-social preferences and motivation and sensitivity to inter-subjective demands. (shrink)