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1. Re the origin of morality, what, according to Haidt, is the difference between nativism, empiricism and rationalism? Which, if any, of these theories.

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Presentation on theme: "1. Re the origin of morality, what, according to Haidt, is the difference between nativism, empiricism and rationalism? Which, if any, of these theories."— Presentation transcript:

1 1. Re the origin of morality, what, according to Haidt, is the difference between nativism, empiricism and rationalism? Which, if any, of these theories does Haidt favor? nativism (inborn) empiricism – we learn them (thus morals vary extensively from one culture to another) rationalism – we construct them on the basis of our (social) experiences, but only as the mind develops (Piaget, Kohlberg, Turiel) 2. Note 7 (p 7) – Haidt: infants may actually react to violations of fairness as early as 15 months (Schmidt & Sommerville 2011). That’s our seminar paper for Thursday (I will present it, as an example of the kind of presentation I want folks to give). Chapt 1: Where Does Morality Come From

2 3. What is Kohlberg’s view of moral development? What is the difference between the pre-conventional, conventional, and post- conventional stages? How does his view relate to Piaget’s developmental theory? Pre-conventional: child judges moral issues by superficial features (boy was punished, therefore he did something wrong) Conventional: child can understand and manipulate social rules and conventions (‘age of petty legalisms’, child still respects authority, even if they chafe) Post-conventional: After puberty, child begins to think for himself, question authority, sometimes justify breaking rules in the cause of some greater moral principle, most often justice. Becoming ‘moral philosophers’ – trying to construct coherent ethical systems for themselves. Kohlberg: The fundamental moral concept is harm/care and it develops over time, requiring both maturation of the individual and experiences in social interactions (typically with peers). This is similar to Piaget’s view in that it requires both maturation (child has to have mental capacity to develop a concept) and experience with the relevant part of the world (social relations in this case). Chapt 1: Where Does Morality Come From

3 4. What does Haidt mean when he says that American and W. European cultures have ‘stripped down and thinned out the thick, all-encompassing moral orders [typical of original cultures]”? We have boiled it all down to harm/care (and perhaps fairness). As we will see, however, this is just a segment (roughly the liberal segment) of American culture that has done so. 5. What is the distinction Turiel makes between moral rules and social conventions? Turiel: Moral rules are rules related to “justice, rights, and welfare pertaining to how people ought to related to each other”. In Haidt’s terms, harm/care and fairness. Moral rules are fundamental, applying in all circumstances and societies, whereas social conventions vary from context to context and are arbitrary, not fundamentally moral. Chapt 1: Where Does Morality Come From

4 6. What is the distinction Shweder makes between individualistic and sociocentric cultures? In his study, in what ways did individuals in in Hyde Park, Chicago differ from those in Orissa, India? Shweder, Mahapatra & Miller 1987 “Culture and Moral Development” Shweder: “all societies must resolve a small set of questions about how to order society, the most important being how to balance the needs of individuals and groups … seem to be just two primary ways of answering this question – individualistic vs sociocentric cultures – latter is much more common – “no bright line separated moral rules (preventing harm) from social conventions (regulating behaviors not linked directly to harm)”. Study compared individuals who lived in Hyde Park, Chicago, and Brahmins in a town in Orissa, India (Brahmins and untouchables). Major difference: former individualistic, latter sociocentric Chapt 1: Where Does Morality Come From

5 7. What is Turiel’s major criticism of the Shweder et al study? In Haidt’s research, how did he deal with this criticism? That Shweder used ‘trick’ questions – didn’t control by asking subjects about harm (e.g., wife is hurting her husband by eating a ‘hot’ food which could lead her into having sex) – would they condemn actions that were harmless? Haidt used harmless taboo violations (eating your dead dog, sex with chicken) – most involve disgust or disrespect (but action done in private, no one harmed) 8. What were the results of Haidt’s research. Did they favor Turiel or Shweder? What was the biggest surprise in these results. Haidt et al: “Is it wrong to eat your dog?” – with harm removed, still gets the same cultural differences (country and class). Biggest surprise is that class difference within a society is bigger than difference between societies! (Could have stayed in Philly and done the whole expt there.) Chapt 1: Where Does Morality Come From

6 9. What is ‘moral dumbfounding’? Person rendered speechless or searching for explanations when asked to explain verbally what they knew intuitively. 10. What does Hume mean by “reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them”? That reason finds the means to achieve whatever ends are chosen by the passions (emotional intuitions). In sum: Morality doesn’t come primarily from reasoning, but some combination of innate reactions and social learning. Chapt 1: Where Does Morality Come From

7 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBW5vdhr_PA


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