Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The End of Philosophy

i found this article challenging and inspiring.  a good follow up to the piece from Newsweek Billy posted yesterday.

here's a sneak peak:

Socrates talked. The assumption behind his approach to philosophy, and the approaches of millions of people since, is that moral thinking is mostly a matter of reason and deliberation: Think through moral problems. Find a just principle. Apply it.

One problem with this kind of approach to morality, as Michael Gazzaniga writes in his 2008 book, “Human,” is that “it has been hard to find any correlation between moral reasoning and proactive moral behavior, such as helping other people. In fact, in most studies, none has been found.”

Today, many psychologists, cognitive scientists and even philosophers embrace a different view of morality. In this view, moral thinking is more like aesthetics. As we look around the world, we are constantly evaluating what we see. Seeing and evaluating are not two separate processes. They are linked and basically simultaneous.


billy said...

Thanks Geoff, this is a nice succint article..seems like this idea has been cooking for a while in the improving? dialogue between the "social" and "harder" sciences...Daniel Goleman's idea of emotional intelligence etc. is another interesting offshoot..another possible connection is a study that Ryan gave me a long time ago called "Hardwired to Connect, sponsored by Dartmouth Medical School and the YMCA-it higlighted the tremendous importance of social interaction and postive emotional stimulation and affirmation in healthy brain a former philosophy student I agree that the absence of the "affective" domain in the history of western philosophy is a huge problem....thanks again......

Anonymous said...

morality the result of thought???
when the second sin was committed, one brother murdered the other. i think that although they did not have any instructions about not hitting each other on the head extreemely, they somehow understood sin feelings. god asks "where is your brother?" and gets the response "am i my brothers keeper?" funny stuff, since the real answer is YES YOU ARE!