Consciousness Thought

Sentimental Rules: On the Natural Foundations of Moral by Shaun Nichols

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By Shaun Nichols

Sentimental principles is an bold and hugely interdisciplinary paintings, which proposes and defends a brand new idea concerning the nature and evolution of ethical judgment. In it, thinker Shaun Nichols develops the idea that feelings play a serious position in either the mental and the cultural underpinnings of uncomplicated ethical judgment. Nichols argues that our norms prohibiting the harming of others are essentially linked to our emotional responses to these harms, and that such 'sentimental principles' take pleasure in a bonus in cultural evolution, which partially explains the luck of definite ethical norms. This has sweeping and interesting implications for philosophical ethics. Nichols builds on an explosion of modern exciting experimental paintings in psychology on our means for ethical judgment and indicates how this empirical paintings has large import for enduring philosophical difficulties. the result's an account that illuminates primary questions on the nature of ethical feelings and the position of sentiment and cause in how we make our ethical judgments. This paintings should still allure generally throughout philosophy and the opposite disciplines that contain cognitive technological know-how.

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3. CORE CASES OF ALTRUISTIC MOTIVATION Because most of the remainder of this chapter will focus on the underpinnings of altruistic motivation, it will be useful to provide an overview of what’s to come. The literature on altruism is simply enormous, and it spans several disciplines including philosophy, social psychology, developmental psychology, and evolutionary biology. Although I will draw on work from all of these areas, my goal is restricted to the project of determining the cognitive and affective mechanisms underlying basic altruistic motivation.

But all else being equal, an account of altruistic motivation that can capture both of these cases would be preferable to an account that captures only one. I will argue that a close look at the role of mindreading in these cases will provide us with a unified account. 4. ALTRUISM WITHOUT MINDREADING? In recent attempts to characterize the psychological mechanisms underlying altruistic motivation, one central question is the extent to which the capacity for altruism depends on the capacity for mindreading.

This issue has been explored most systematically in the literature on prosocial behavior, that is, behavior that benefits others. The familiar saw is that “empathy” is the emotional response underlying prosocial behavior. But research over the last two decades suggests that the unqualified appeal to empathy blurs importantly different kinds of emotional responses. More- 30 over, the appeal to empathy might even neglect important categories of response to harm in others. For it might turn out that some affective responses to suffering are not plausibly viewed as empathic.

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