Monday, October 31, 2011

Experimental Philosophy

Interesting article in November Scientific American. A more scientific approach to philosophy, asking hundreds of test subjects to answer various thought problems. One interesting example on relativistic morality: if the morally ambiguous choice is fairly "here and now", then people decide with common sense, emotion, and "folk morality". If the choice is placed relatively far in the future, that apparently causes the mind's more "abstract thinking" modules to kick in, and decisions become more logical and abstract, if somewhat less "human".

Also, people who are more open to new experiences (liberals?) tend to be more open to moral relativism. So maybe there's a genetically selected difference between us right-thinking liberals and those backwards-thinking, inbred conservatives.

No comments: