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Profile: Regina A. Rini (New York University, New York University)
  1. How Not to Test for Philosophical Expertise.Regina A. Rini - 2015 - Synthese 192 (2):431-452.
    Recent empirical work appears to suggest that the moral intuitions of professional philosophers are just as vulnerable to distorting psychological factors as are those of ordinary people. This paper assesses these recent tests of the ‘expertise defense’ of philosophical intuition. I argue that the use of familiar cases and principles constitutes a methodological problem. Since these items are familiar to philosophers, but not ordinary people, the two subject groups do not confront identical cognitive tasks. Reflection on this point shows that (...)
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  2. Analogies, Moral Intuitions, and the Expertise Defence.Regina A. Rini - 2014 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 5 (2):169-181.
    The evidential value of moral intuitions has been challenged by psychological work showing that the intuitions of ordinary people are affected by distorting factors. One reply to this challenge, the expertise defence, claims that training in philosophical thinking confers enhanced reliability on the intuitions of professional philosophers. This defence is often expressed through analogy: since we do not allow doubts about folk judgments in domains like mathematics or physics to undermine the plausibility of judgments by experts in these domains, we (...)
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  3. Of Course the Baby Should Live: Against 'After-Birth Abortion'.Regina A. Rini - 2013 - Journal of Medical Ethics 39 (5):353-356.
    In a recent paper, Giubilini and Minerva argue for the moral permissibility of what they call ‘after-birth abortion’, or infanticide. Here I suggest that they actually employ a confusion of two distinct arguments: one relying on the purportedly identical moral status of a fetus and a newborn, and the second giving an independent argument for the denial of moral personhood to infants (independent of whatever one might say about fetuses). After distinguishing these arguments, I suggest that neither one is capable (...)
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  4. Psychology and the Aims of Normative Ethics.Regina A. Rini - forthcoming - In Jens Clausen & Neil Levy (eds.), Springer Handbook of Neuroethics.
    This chapter discusses the philosophical relevance of empirical research on moral cognition. It distinguishes three central aims of normative ethical theory: understanding the nature of moral agency, identifying morally right actions, and determining the justification of moral beliefs. For each of these aims, the chapter considers and rejects arguments against employing cognitive scientific research in normative inquiry. It concludes by suggesting that, whichever of the central aims one begins from, normative ethics is improved by engaging with the science of moral (...)
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  5.  52
    Making Psychology Normatively Significant.Regina A. Rini - 2013 - The Journal of Ethics 17 (3):257-274.
    The debate between proponents and opponents of a role for empirical psychology in ethical theory seems to be deadlocked. This paper aims to clarify the terms of that debate, and to defend a principled middle position. I argue against extreme views, which see empirical psychology either as irrelevant to, or as wholly displacing, reflective moral inquiry. Instead, I argue that moral theorists of all stripes are committed to a certain conception of moral thought—as aimed at abstracting away from individual inclinations (...)
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  6.  79
    The Science of Morality and its Normative Implications.Tommaso Bruni, Matteo Mameli & Regina A. Rini - 2014 - Neuroethics 7 (2):159-172.
    Neuromoral theorists are those who claim that a scientific understanding of moral judgment through the methods of psychology, neuroscience and related disciplines can have normative implications and can be used to improve the human ability to make moral judgments. We consider three neuromoral theories: one suggested by Gazzaniga, one put forward by Gigerenzer, and one developed by Greene. By contrasting these theories we reveal some of the fundamental issues that neuromoral theories in general have to address. One important issue concerns (...)
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  7.  49
    Why Moral Psychology is Disturbing.Regina A. Rini - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (6):1439-1458.
    Learning the psychological origins of our moral judgments can lead us to lose confidence in them. In this paper I explain why. I consider two explanations drawn from existing literature—regarding epistemic unreliability and automaticity—and argue that neither is fully adequate. I then propose a new explanation, according to which psychological research reveals the extent to which we are disturbingly disunified as moral agents.
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  8.  79
    Debunking Debunking: A Regress Challenge for Psychological Threats to Moral Judgment.Regina A. Rini - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (3):675-697.
    This paper presents a regress challenge to the selective psychological debunking of moral judgments. A selective psychological debunking argument conjoins an empirical claim about the psychological origins of certain moral judgments to a theoretical claim that these psychological origins cannot track moral truth, leading to the conclusion that the moral judgments are unreliable. I argue that psychological debunking arguments are vulnerable to a regress challenge, because the theoretical claim that ‘such-and-such psychological process is not moral-truth-tracking’ relies upon moral judgments. We (...)
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  9.  35
    Morality and Cognitive Science.Regina A. Rini - 2015 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Morality and Cognitive Science What do we know about how people make moral judgments? And what should moral philosophers do with this knowledge? This article addresses the cognitive science of moral judgment. It reviews important empirical findings and discusses how philosophers have reacted to them. Several trends have dominated the cognitive science of morality in … Continue reading Morality and Cognitive Science →.
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  10.  32
    Feedback From Moral Philosophy to Cognitive Science.Regina A. Rini - 2015 - Philosophical Psychology 28 (4):569-588.
    A popular argument form uses general theories of cognitive architecture to motivate conclusions about the nature of moral cognition. This paper highlights the possibility for modus tollens reversal of this argument form. If theories of cognitive architecture generate predictions for moral cognition, then tests of moral thinking provide feedback to cognitive science. In certain circumstances, philosophers' introspective attention to their own moral deliberations can provide unique data for these tests. Recognizing the possibility for this sort of feedback helps to illuminate (...)
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  11.  34
    Review of J. Alexander, Experimental Philosophy: An Introduction. [REVIEW]Regina A. Rini - 2012 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 26 (4):457-460.
  12.  7
    Experimental Philosophy: An Introduction.Regina A. Rini - 2012 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 26 (4):457-460.
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