Sunday, April 30, 2006
Online Philosophy Conference
The Online Philosophy Conference has begun, and you can read the first papers and commentary here. Of the papers already up at the site, Kelly and Stich's titled "Two theories about the cognitive architecture underlying morality," and Michael Cholbi's commentary on the paper, might be of particular interest to Mixing Memory readers. Kelly and Stich are arguing for a largely nativist approach to moral psychology, which will always give me pause. I'm an empiricist at heart, and while the tendency to focus on innate intuitions is growing in moral psychology research, I can't help but feel like the inference to innate architectures, primarily from evidence of domain specificity (with the occasional "poverty of stimulus" argument thrown in for good measure), is a bit premature. But among the new wave of post-rationalist theories of moral psychology, there aren't really any good empiricist theories, except perhaps some of the connectionist ones. I sometimes wonder whether this is in part a reaction to the overly-empiricist theories of Kohlberg and his disciples, but since this new wave is still very young, I'm sure there's still time for a good empiricist to come along and shake things up.