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From Desire to Subjective Value: On the Neural Mechanisms of Moral Motivation

Hartner, Daniel (2012) From Desire to Subjective Value: On the Neural Mechanisms of Moral Motivation. In: UNSPECIFIED.

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Increasingly, empirically minded moral philosophers are using data from cognitive science and neuroscience to resolve some longstanding philosophical questions about moral motivation, such as whether moral beliefs require the presence of a desire to motivate (Humeanism). These empirical approaches are implicitly committed to the existence of folk psychological (FP) mental states like beliefs and desires. However, data from the neuroscience of decision-making, particularly cellular-level work in neuroeconomics, is now converging with data from cognitive and social neuroscience to explain the processes through which agents are moved to act on the basis of decisions, including decisions about social and moral norms. I argue that these developments are beginning to cast doubt on the prospect of finding nontrivial physical 'realizers' for the FP states invoked in the Humeanism dispute by posing two distinctive challenges that tend to work against each other: belief-desire directionality and causal relevance.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Keywords: Neuroeconomics, Neuroscience of Decision, Folk Psychology, Moral Motivation
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science
General Issues > Ethical Issues
Specific Sciences > Biology > Neuroscience
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
Depositing User: Dr. Daniel Hartner
Date Deposited: 13 Nov 2012 04:50
Last Modified: 13 Nov 2012 04:50
Item ID: 9440

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