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On the normative significance of experimental moral psychology

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Experimental research in moral psychology can be used to generate debunking arguments in ethics. Specifically, research can indicate that we draw a moral distinction on the basis of a morally irrelevant difference. We develop this naturalistic approach by examining a recent debate between Joshua Greene and Selim Berker. We argue that Greene's research, if accurate, undermines attempts to reconcile opposing judgments about trolley cases, but that his attempt to debunk deontology fails. We then draw some general lessons about the possibility of empirical debunking arguments in ethics.

Keywords: Consistency Reasoning; Debunking; Joshua Greene; Moral Psychology

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 1, 2012

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