Title

Moral Judgment

Document Type

Book chapter

Source Publication

The Routledge companion to philosophy of psychology

Publication Date

1-1-2009

First Page

621

Last Page

633

Publisher

Routledge

Abstract

Questions regarding the nature of moral judgment loom large in moral philosophy. Perhaps the most basic of these questions asks how, exactly, moral judgments and moral rules are to be defined; what features distinguish them from other sorts of rules and judgments? A related question concerns the extent to which emotion and reason guide moral judgment. Are moral judgments made mainly on the basis of reason, or are they primarily the products of emotion? As an example of the former view, Kant held all moral requirements to be derived from a principle of rationality (the categorical imperative). As an example of the latter, Hume famously claimed that reason is “the slave of the passions” and that moral judgments stem from the moral emotions. When addressing these issues, philosophers have largely relied on the traditional tools of philosophical analysis, along with introspection, anecdotal evidence and armchair speculation. In recent years, however, a rich body experimental psychology has emerged which, in the view of a growing number of philosophers, casts important new light on these venerable questions. Our aim, in this chapter, is to illustrate how empirical methods can help move traditional philosophical debates forward in interesting and important ways. Since space does not permit an exhaustive survey of the relevant experimental work, we will focus on a few of the most compelling examples.

Publisher Statement

Access to external full text or publisher's version may require subscription.

Additional Information

ISBN of the source publication: 9780415396325

Full-text Version

Accepted Author Manuscript

Recommended Citation

Nado, J. E., Kelly, D., & Stich, S. (2009). Moral judgment. In John Symons, & Paco Calvo (Eds.), The routledge companion to philosophy of psychology (pp. 621-633). New York: Routledge.