The role of moral utility in decision making: an interdisciplinary framework
Cogn Affect Behav Neurosci. 2008 Dec;8(4):390-401
Tobler PN, Kalis A, Kalenscher T.
University of Cambridge, Cambridge, England. firstname.lastname@example.org
decisions should we make? Moral values, rules, and virtues provide
standards for morally acceptable decisions, without prescribing how we
should reach them. However, moral theories do assume that we are, at
least in principle, capable of making the right decisions.
Consequently, an empirical investigation of the methods and resources
we use for making moral decisions becomes relevant. We consider
theoretical parallels of economic decision theory and moral
utilitarianism and suggest that moral decision making may tap into
mechanisms and processes that have originally evolved for nonmoral
decision making. For example, the computation of reward value occurs
through the combination of probability and magnitude; similar
computation might also be used for determining utilitarian moral value.
Both nonmoral and moral decisions may resort to intuitions and
heuristics. Learning mechanisms implicated in the assignment of reward
value to stimuli, actions, and outcomes may also enable us to determine
moral value and assign it to stimuli, actions, and outcomes. In
conclusion, we suggest that moral capabilities can employ and benefit
from a variety of nonmoral decision-making and learning mechanisms.
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(Something interesting I found)Posted: Wednesday, February 18, 2009