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Title: The Argument from Self-Defeating Beliefs Against Deontology
Author(s): MIHAILOV, Emilian
Journal: Ethical Perspectives
Volume: 22    Issue: 4   Date: 2015   
Pages: 573-600
DOI: 10.2143/EP.22.4.3127268

Abstract :
There is a tendency to use data from neuroscience, cognitive science and experimental psychology to rail against philosophical ethics. Recently, Joshua Greene has argued that deontological judgments tend to be supported by emotional responses to irrelevant features, whereas consequentialist judgments are more reliable because they tend to be supported by cognitive processes. In this article, I will analyse the evidence used by Greene to suggest a different kind of argument against deontology, which I will call the argument from self-defeating beliefs. The charge of this type of argument amounts to exposing a psychological nature of deontological judgements that is supposedly rejected by deontologists. I will argue that the alleged evidence is poorly understood, mixed and indeterminate, failing to endorse general conclusions about the psychological processes underlying deontological judgements.

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