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Lecture 13

CGSC 1001 Lecture Notes - Lecture 13: Tribalism, Ethnocentrism, Deontological Ethics

Cognitive Science
Course Code
CGSC 1001
Jim Davies

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Cognitive Science - Lecture 13
Why do we have morality?
- They evolved to help us take care of the other people in our groups. But not
so much people outside our groups.
The Expanding Circle
- Self-interest: I care about myself and my family
- All animals have instincts for gene-preservation (w/ exceptions)
- Friendship: I care for historical cooperation partners
- Shared with chimps
- Sharing food used to be a life-and-death matter for us
- Tribalism: I care about us, but not them
- Tragedy of the commons
- Evolved morals in humans took care of this
- Anthropological survey shows that ethnocentrism is universal
- I care about all people or creatures that can have positive or negative
- The tragedy of common sense morality
- Requires abstract reasoning and values
How do we know morality is evolved?
- In general, evolved and well-learned behaviours work faster than deliberate
- When you force people to play a prisoner’s dilemma game quickly, they are
more likely to cooperate
Footbridge/Trolley Explanation
- Greene’s experiment reveals that there are two competing systems for our
moral considerations:
- The first is some kind of rational, utilitarian calculus which makes
switch cases permissible
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