Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://doi.org/10.25358/openscience-136
Authors: Churchland, Paul M.
Title: Rules : the basis of morality...?
Online publication date: 28-Nov-2016
Language : english
Abstract: Most theories of moral knowledge, throughout history, have focused on behavior-guiding rules. Those theories attempt to identify which rules are the morally valid ones, and to identify the source or ground of that privileged set. The variations on this theme are many and familiar. But there is a problem here. In fact, there are several. First, many of the higher animals display a complex social order, one crucial to their biological success, and the members of such species typically display a sophisticated knowledge of what is and what is not acceptable social behavior—but those creatures have no language at all. They are unable even to express a single rule, let alone evaluate it for moral validity. Second, when we examine most other kinds of behavioral skills—playing basketball, playing the piano, playing chess—we discover that it is surpassingly difficult to articulate a set of discursive rules, which, if followed, would produce a skilled athlete, pianist, or chess master. And third, it would be physically impossible for a biological creature to identify which of its myriad rule are relevant to a given situation, and then apply them, in real time, in any case. All told, we would seem to need a new account of how our moral knowledge is stored, accessed, and applied. The present paper explores the potential, in these three regards, of recent alternative models from the computational neurosciences. The possibilities, it emerges, are considerable.
DDC: 100 Philosophie
100 Philosophy
Institution: Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Department: FB 05 Philosophie und Philologie
Place: Mainz
DOI: http://doi.org/10.25358/openscience-136
Version: Published version
Publication type: Buchbeitrag
License: in Copyright
Information on rights of use: https://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
Citation: Open MIND
Metzinger, Thomas
Pages or article number: Kap. 6(T)
Publisher: MIND Group
Publisher Place: Frankfurt am Main
Issue date: 2015
Publisher's URL : http://dx.doi.org/10.15502/9783958570139
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