How do we arrive at moral judgments, judgments about whether actions are right or wrong, permissible, impermissible or obligatory? In this paper we present three competing models of moral judgment, the Emotional Model, the Conscious Reasoning Model, and the Unconscious Reasoning Model. We also consider arguments for and against each model. In the end, we (tentatively) argue that the Unconscious Reasoning Model is the best model to explain how we arrive at moral judgments, since out of all the competing models it suffers from the least amount of problems.

Here is where we have a small glossary of terms. These may not be what the terms mean in real life but what they mean for the purposes of our conversation.

  • Emotion Our definition is a compromise of Hauser's and Haidt's definition colloquialized for the layman.
  • Reason We're borrowing here heavily from Fodor's idea of rationality and abstract learning but trimmed down and mixed with some less actively aggressive and insane language.
  • Judgement This is pretty much cobbled together from all of our sources. What different scientists determine the moment of judgement to be is a tricky bit of definition much like sensation vs perception and when computation happens. If you're going to argue with any of the myriad viewpoints in this paper its probably going to be about where we draw our lines for Judgement.
  • Action The simplest definition. Basically gross motor movements but it can get a bit slippery, click the link for jargonbabble.

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