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Nora Heinzelmann
Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München
  1. Moral Discourse Boosts Confidence in Moral Judgments.Nora Heinzelmann, Benedikt Höltgen & Viet Tran - 2021 - Philosophical Psychology 34.
    The so-called “conciliatory” norm in epistemology and meta-ethics requires that an agent, upon encountering peer disagreement with her judgment, lower her confidence about that judgment. But whether agents actually abide by this norm is unclear. Although confidence is excessively researched in the empirical sciences, possible effects of disagreement on confidence have been understudied. Here, we target this lacuna, reporting a study that measured confidence about moral beliefs before and after exposure to moral discourse about a controversial issue. Our findings indicate (...)
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  2. Rationality is Not Coherence.Nora Heinzelmann - forthcoming - Philosophical Quarterly.
    According to a popular account, rationality is a kind of coherence of an agent’s mental states and, more specifically, a matter of fulfilling norms of coherence. For example, in order to be rational an agent is required to intend to do what they judge they ought to and can do. This norm has been called ‘Enkrasia’. Another norm requires that, ceteris paribus, an agent retain their intention over time. This has been called ‘Persistence of Intention’. This paper argues that thus (...)
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  3. Deontology Defended.Nora Heinzelmann - 2018 - Synthese 195 (12):5197–5216.
    Empirical research into moral decision-making is often taken to have normative implications. For instance, in his recent book, Greene (2013) relies on empirical findings to establish utilitarianism as a superior normative ethical theory. Kantian ethics, and deontological ethics more generally, is a rival view that Greene attacks. At the heart of Greene’s argument against deontology is the claim that deontological moral judgments are the product of certain emotions and not of reason. Deontological ethics is a mere rationalization of these emotions. (...)
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  4.  68
    The Genetic Technologies Questionnaire: Lay Judgments About Genetic Technologies Align with Ethical Theory, Are Coherent, and Predict Behaviour.Svenja Küchenhoff, Johannes Doerflinger & Nora Heinzelmann - 2022 - BMC Medical Ethics 23 (54):1-14.
    -/- Policy regulations of ethically controversial genetic technologies should, on the one hand, be based on ethical principles. On the other hand, they should be socially acceptable to ensure implementation. In addition, they should align with ethical theory. Yet to date we lack a reliable and valid scale to measure the relevant ethical judgements in laypeople. We target this lacuna. -/- We developed a scale based on ethical principles to elicit lay judgments: the Genetic Technologies Questionnaire (GTQ). In two pilot (...)
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  5. Conflicting Judgments and Weakness of Will.Nora Heinzelmann - 2020 - Philosophia 1 (1):255-269.
    This paper shows that our popular account of weakness of will is inconsistent with dilemmas. In dilemmas, agents judge that they ought to do one thing, that they ought to do something else, and that they cannot do both. They must act against either of their two judgments. But such action is commonly understood as weakness of will. An agent is weak-willed in doing something if she judges that she ought to and could do something else instead. Thus, it seems (...)
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    Aesthetics and Morality Judgements Share Functional Neuroarchitecture.Nora Heinzelmann, Susanna Weber & Philippe Tobler - 2020 - Cortex 129:484-495.
    Philosophers have predominantly regarded morality and aesthetics judgments as fundamentally different. However, whether this claim is empirically founded has remained unclear. In a novel task, we measured brain activity of participants judging the aesthetic beauty of artwork or the moral goodness of actions depicted. To control for the content of judgments, participants assessed the age of the artworks and the speed of depicted actions. Univariate analyses revealed whole-brain corrected, content-controlled common activation for aesthetics and morality judgments in frontopolar, dorsomedial and (...)
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  7.  93
    Deliberation and confidence change.Nora Heinzelmann & Stephan Hartmann - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-13.
    We argue that social deliberation may increase an agent’s confidence and credence under certain circumstances. An agent considers a proposition H and assigns a probability to it. However, she is not fully confident that she herself is reliable in this assignment. She then endorses H during deliberation with another person, expecting him to raise serious objections. To her surprise, however, the other person does not raise any objections to H. How should her attitudes toward H change? It seems plausible that (...)
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  8. Practical Implications of Empirically Studying Moral Decision-Making.Nora Heinzelmann, Giuseppe Ugazio & Philippe Tobler - 2012 - Frontiers in Neuroscience 6:94.
    This paper considers the practical question of why people do not behave in the way they ought to behave. This question is a practical one, reaching both into the normative and descriptive domains of morality. That is, it concerns moral norms as well as empirical facts. We argue that two main problems usually keep us form acting and judging in a morally decent way: firstly, we make mistakes in moral reasoning. Secondly, even when we know how to act and judge, (...)
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  9. Compensation and Moral Luck.Nora Heinzelmann - 2021 - The Monist 104 (2):251-264.
    In some vicarious cases of compensation, an agent seems obligated to compensate for a harm they did not inflict. This raises the problem that obligations for compensation may arise out of circumstantial luck. That is, an agent may owe compensation for a harm that was outside their control. Addressing this issue, I identify five conditions for compensation from the literature: causal engagement, proxy, ill-gotten gains, constitution, and affiliation. I argue that only two of them specify genuine and irreducible grounds for (...)
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    Vom Sollen zum Sein.Nora Heinzelmann - 2021 - In Georgios Karageorgoudis and Jörg Noller (ed.), Sein und Sollen. Paderborn, Deutschland: pp. 199-220.
    ENGLISH. From statements about what is the case we cannot derive statements about what ought to be. This is only one way in which we can describe the dichotomy between Is and Ought that has preoccupied philosophers since Hume to the present day. However, relatively little attention has been paid to the question of whether statements about what ought to be may commit us to, or even imply, statements about what is. This paper aims to address this shortcoming. It pursues (...)
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    Weakness of the Will.Nora Heinzelmann - 2017 - Dissertation, Cambridge University
    How is it conceivable or even psychologically possible that rational agents sometimes appear to act against their own acknowledged self-interest? This issue, commonly known as “weakness of the will”, has contributed to much of our individual and collective failure to address pressing problems even if solutions are well-known and readily available. It has fascinated philosophers since ancient times. Recent advances in psychology, behavioural economics and neuroscience have allowed us to approach the phenomenon from a new perspective. A novel account that (...)
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