Noncognitivism in Ethics is an outstanding introduction to these theories, ranging from their early history through the latest contemporary developments. Beginning with a general introduction to metaethics, Mark Schroeder introduces and assesses three principal kinds of noncognitivist theory: the speech-act theories of Ayer, Stevenson, and Hare, the expressivist theories of Blackburn and Gibbard, and hybrid theories. He pays particular attention both to the philosophical problems about what moral facts could be about or how they could matter which noncognitivism seeks to solve, and to the deep problems that it faces, including the task of explaining both the nature of moral thought and the complexity of moral attitudes, and the ‘Frege-Geach’ problem.
Schroeder makes even the most difficult material accessible by offering crucial background along the way. Also included are exercises at the end of each chapter, chapter summaries, and a glossary of technical terms - making Noncognitivism in Ethics essential reading for all students of ethics and metaethics.
Rationalists about the psychology of moral judgment argue that moral cognition has a rational foundation. Recent challenges to this account, based on findings in the empirical psychology of moral judgment, contend that moral thinking has no rational basis. In this book, Hanno Sauer argues that moral reasoning does play a role in moral judgment—but not, as is commonly supposed, because conscious reasoning produces moral judgments directly. Moral reasoning figures in the acquisition, formation, maintenance, and reflective correction of moral intuitions. Sauer proposes that when we make moral judgments we draw on a stable repertoire of intuitions about what is morally acceptable, which we have acquired over the course of our moral education—episodes of rational reflection that have established patterns for automatic judgment foundation. Moral judgments are educated and rationally amenable moral intuitions.
Sauer engages extensively with the empirical evidence on the psychology of moral judgment and argues that it can be shown empirically that reasoning plays a crucial role in moral judgment. He offers detailed counterarguments to the anti-rationalist challenge (the claim that reason and reasoning play no significant part in morality and moral judgment) and the emotionist challenge (the argument for the emotional basis of moral judgment). Finally, he uses Joshua Greene's Dual Process model of moral cognition to test the empirical viability and normative persuasiveness of his account of educated intuitions. Sauer shows that moral judgments can be automatic, emotional, intuitive, and rational at the same time.
The book explores what we can learn about the role of emotions and imagination in moral reasoning from psychopathic adults in the general community, from young children, and adolescents with callous unemotional traits, and from normal child development. It discusses the implications for philosophical moral psychology of recent experimental work on moral reasoning in the cognitive sciences and neurosciences. Conversely, it shows what cognitive scientists and neuroscientists have still to learn from philosophical perspectives on moral reasoning, moral reflection, and moral responsibility. Finally, it looks at whether experimental methods used for researching moral reasoning are consistent with the work in social psychology and with philosophical thought on adult moral reasoning in everyday life.
The volume's wide-ranging perspectives reflect the varied audiences for the volume, from students of philosophy to psychologists working in cognition, social and personality psychology, developmental psychology, abnormal psychology, and cognitive neuroscience.
Michael J. Sandel's "Justice" course is one of the most popular and influential at Harvard. Up to a thousand students pack the campus theater to hear Sandel relate the big questions of political philosophy to the most vexing issues of the day, and this fall, public television will air a series based on the course. Justice offers readers the same exhilarating journey that captivates Harvard students. This book is a searching, lyrical exploration of the meaning of justice, one that invites readers of all political persuasions to consider familiar controversies in fresh and illuminating ways. Affirmative action, same-sex marriage, physician-assisted suicide, abortion, national service, patriotism and dissent, the moral limits of markets—Sandel dramatizes the challenge of thinking through these con?icts, and shows how a surer grasp of philosophy can help us make sense of politics, morality, and our own convictions as well. Justice is lively, thought-provoking, and wise—an essential new addition to the small shelf of books that speak convincingly to the hard questions of our civic life.