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Lecture 24

PHILOS 2F03 Lecture Notes - Lecture 24: Tabula Rasa, Naturalistic Fallacy, Fallacy

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Barry Allen

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Fox 1 Last Lecture
Monday December 1, 2014
o85% M/C
o15% S/A (choice of 3, 100 words at most)
oNo dates or titles
oConcentrate on ideas/words (blank slate, evolution, etc.)
oTest on lectures and lecture notes
The Righteous Mind – Jonathan Haidt
Why do people respond with morality?
Evolved adaptations=social instincts that warped in the environment (evolution*)
Under different conditions, that shaped our responses to each other’s
6 modules: morality is not just one adaptation, but a range
Selected to respond to different aspects in our social life
The Naturalistic Fallacy:
G.E Moore Principle Ethica (1903)=natural quality determines morally good or
bad/Problem: morally good is naturally good
He claimed that the equation of moral good with any natural property (pleasure
for example) was wrong, and a fallacy
Words good and pleasant can’t have the same meaning
Conclusion: fallacy to equate moral goodness with pleasure or any other property
(evolved social instinct)/cannot be a natural property
1a) “pleasure is good”
1b) “pleasure is pleasure” (see avenue slides)
Thomas De Zengotita “Ethics and the Limits of Evolutionary
“Action X is caused by a adaptive, naturally selected program”
Does not have the same logical sense as “Action X is morally good”
So these cannot be the same quality. To identify them is the naturalistic fallacy
Natural selection is responsible for those immoral tendencies to behave just like
the moral (homophobia, racism and violence of war)/Has to be explained
naturalistically no more than morality
Claim: Responses adapted for evolutionary ancestors
Phases of Moral Cognition:
1. Unconscious, fast, affect-laden intuitive appraisal
2. Conscious, slow, reflective, principled, after-the-fact justification
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