Will the real moral judgment please stand up?

tthe implications of social intuitionist models of cognition for meta-ethics and moral psychology

Jeanette Kennett*, Cordelia Fine

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

57 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The recent, influential Social Intuitionist Model of moral judgment (Haidt, Psychological Review 108, 814-834, 2001) proposes a primary role for fast, automatic and affectively charged moral intuitions in the formation of moral judgments. Haidt's research challenges our normative conception of ourselves as agents capable of grasping and responding to reasons. We argue that there can be no 'real' moral judgments in the absence of a capacity for reflective shaping and endorsement of moral judgments. However, we suggest that the empirical literature indicates a complex interplay between automatic and deliberative mental processes in moral judgment formation, with the latter constraining the expression and influence of moral intuitions. We therefore conclude that the psychological literature supports a normative conception of agency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-96
Number of pages20
JournalEthical Theory and Moral Practice
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Automatic processing
  • Meta-ethics
  • Moral agency
  • Moral intuitions
  • Moral judgment
  • Reason-responding
  • Reason-tracking

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