April 2014

Moral Dilemma

In the MMPL meeting on Friday, part of the discussion turned on whether we want to/should be studying “real life” versus “contrived” moral scenarios, and what each type of approach can tell us about moral psychology, moral judgment, moral justification, and whatnot.

My opinion on this issue is still in the process of being formed, and I think it goes something along the lines of “it depends”. Which, while probably annoying, is also potentially a good starting point for a blog post! Read more about Moral Dilemma

Emotion and Reason in Moral Dilemmas

"Dual processes of emotion and reason in judgments about moral dilemmas"

Last week at our journal discussion group, I presented an article by Gubbins and Byrne (2014) about the roles of emotion and reason in moral dilemmas. The aim of this study was to see if people provide emotions or reasons as persuasive justifications for their decisions when provided with moral dilemmas.

They argue that personal dilemmas will evoke emotional appeals, while impersonal dilemmas are more likely to evoke rational appeals in justifications. Read more about Emotion and Reason in Moral Dilemmas

SASP Conference, Canberra

A week ago, I had just returned to Melbourne post-SASP Conference in Canberra. It seems a lot longer ago - which is probably Easter's fault. Still, better late than never – here’s a brief summary of what various members of the MMPL presented on this year! Read more about SASP Conference, Canberra

Protective Rationalization

I came upon the quote below while reading Joseph Heller's Catch-22, and I loved it.
It reminded me of the role of reasoning in the moral judgement process. Jonathan Haidt (2001) argues that we only employ reason in order to justify our moral judgements after we have already made them. I think this is the active ingredient in what Heller called "protective rationalization": Read more about Protective Rationalization