[ExI] META: Overposting (psychology of morals)

Anders Sandberg anders at aleph.se
Sun Feb 27 23:27:03 UTC 2011

Stefano Vaj wrote:
> On 27 February 2011 13:06, Anders Sandberg <anders at aleph.se> wrote:
>> According to Haidt, morality across cultures tend to be based on five
>> fundamental values that are given different weight between different
>> cultures and individuals:
> What about differentialist fundamentalism, such as my own version
> thereof, the adept of which suffer from an immediate adrenalyne and
> testosterone discharge every time somebody mentions such gross
> cross-cultural generalisations? :-)))

Seems to be a more individual moral foundation. Of course, as you know 
in order to actually be a real moral reaction and not just a knee-jerk 
reaction based on surface characteristics (which of course underlie a 
lot of the "moral intuitions" of people), you should react to the real 
content of Haidt's thesis and not just my thumbnail sketch. His papers 
are worth reading, even if there might be moral foundations he missed or 
a slightly different taxonomy. They have caused a lot of excited 
analysis among my colleauges.

It is actually not too hard to give an evolutionary psychology 
explanation for them (is it *ever* hard to do that? ;-) ) After all, 
they seem to fit in nicely with evolved cognitive systems, and 
evolutionary exaptation nicely explains why the purity system uses the 
same disgust emotion to avoid unhealthy food as to avoid certain social 
actions or people. I doubt his list is complete, but I think he nailed a 
few human universals.

Anders Sandberg,
Future of Humanity Institute 
James Martin 21st Century School 
Philosophy Faculty 
Oxford University 

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