Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
In this paper, I respond to the case against deontological moral theory that Joshua Greene develops in "The Secret Joke of Kant's Soul" and elsewhere. Using empirical data he and colleagues collected on peoples' judgments in various moral dilemmas, Greene attempts to show that deontology rests on unsound foundations. In brief, he contends that the intuitions used to support deontological theory are undermined because they are responses to a morally irrelevant feature he calls "personalness." I argue that deontologists can respond to Greene's arguments by drawing a distinction between "practical" and "theoretical" intuitions. I contend that it is only the former sort of intuitions that are undermined by Greene's evidence, and that deontological theory can be supported purely on the basis of theoretical intuitions.
Tully, Ian Martin, "On Greene’s Neuroscientific Challenge To Deontological Ethics" (2012). Philosophy Graduate Theses & Dissertations. 22.