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A Theory of Feelings Anger and Forgiveness Philosophizing Madness from Nietzsche to Derrida"My Madness Saved Me"10 Good Questions about Life and Death12 Modern Philosophers50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a GodA Cabinet of Philosophical CuriositiesA Case for IronyA Companion to BioethicsA Companion to Buddhist PhilosophyA Companion to FoucaultA Companion to GenethicsA Companion to GenethicsA Companion to HumeA Companion to KantA Companion to Phenomenology and ExistentialismA Companion to PragmatismA Companion to the Philosophy of ActionA Companion to the Philosophy of BiologyA Companion to the Philosophy of LiteratureA Conceptual History of PsychologyA Critical Overview of Biological FunctionsA Critique of Naturalistic Philosophies of MindA Cursing Brain?A Delicate BalanceA Farewell to AlmsA Fragile LifeA Frightening LoveA Future for PresentismA Guide to the Good LifeA History of PsychiatryA History of the MindA Life Worth LivingA Manual of Experimental PhilosophyA Map of the MindA Metaphysics of PsychopathologyA Mind So RareA Minimal LibertarianismA Natural History of Human MoralityA Natural History of Human ThinkingA Natural History of VisionA Parliament of MindsA Philosopher Looks at The Sense of HumorA Philosophical DiseaseA Philosophy for the Science of Well-BeingA Philosophy of BoredomA Philosophy of Cinematic ArtA Philosophy of CultureA Philosophy of EmptinessA Philosophy of FearA Philosophy of PainA Physicalist ManifestoA Place for ConsciousnessA Question of TrustA Research Agenda for DSM-VA Revolution of the MindA Sentimentalist Theory of the MindA Stroll With William JamesA Tapestry of ValuesA Tear is an Intellectual ThingA Theory of FreedomA Thousand MachinesA Universe of ConsciousnessA Very Bad WizardA Very Bad Wizard: Morality Behind the CurtainA Virtue EpistemologyA World Full of GodsA World Without ValuesAbout FaceAbout the Beginning of the Hermeneutics of the SelfAction and ResponsibilityAction in ContextAction Theory, Rationality and CompulsionAction, Contemplation, and HappinessAction, Emotion and WillAdam SmithAdaptive DynamicsAddictionAddictionAddiction and ResponsibilityAddiction and Self-ControlAddiction Is a ChoiceAdvances in Identity Theory and ResearchAftermathAfterwarAgainst AdaptationAgainst AutonomyAgainst BioethicsAgainst HappinessAgainst HealthAgainst MarriageAgency and ActionAgency and AnswerabilityAgency and EmbodimentAgency and ResponsibilityAgency, Freedom, and Moral ResponsibilityAl-JununAlain BadiouAlain BadiouAlasdair MacIntyreAlien Landscapes?Altered EgosAmbivalenceAn Anthology of Psychiatric EthicsAn Ethics for TodayAn Intellectual History of CannibalismAn Interpretation of DesireAn Introduction to EthicsAn Introduction to Kant's Moral Philosophy An Introduction to Philosophy of EducationAn Introduction to the Philosophy of MindAn Introduction to the Philosophy of MindAn Introduction to the Philosophy of PsychologyAn Introductory Philosophy of MedicineAn Odd Kind of FameAnalytic FreudAnalytic Philosophy in AmericaAncient AngerAncient Models of MindAncient Philosophy of the SelfAngerAnimal LessonsAnimal MindsAnimals Like UsAnnihilationAnother PlanetAnswers for AristotleAnti-ExternalismAnti-Individualism and KnowledgeAntigone’s ClaimAntipsychiatryAre We Hardwired?Are Women Human?Arguing about DisabilityArguing About Human NatureAristotle and the Philosophy of FriendshipAristotle on Practical WisdomAristotle's ChildrenAristotle's Ethics and Moral ResponsibilityAristotle, Emotions, and EducationArt & MoralityArt After Conceptual ArtArt in Three DimensionsArt, Self and KnowledgeArtificial ConsciousnessArtificial HappinessAspects of PsychologismAsylum to ActionAt the Existentialist CaféAtonement and ForgivenessAttention is Cognitive UnisonAutobiography as PhilosophyAutonomyAutonomy and Mental DisorderAutonomy and the Challenges to LiberalismBabies by DesignBackslidingBadiouBadiou's DeleuzeBadiou, Balibar, Ranciere: Rethinking EmancipationBare Facts And Naked TruthsBasic Desert, Reactive Attitudes and Free WillBattlestar Galactica and PhilosophyBe Like the FoxBeautyBecoming a SubjectBecoming HumanBefore ConsciousnessBehavingBehavioral Genetics in the Postgenomic EraBeing AmoralBeing HumanBeing Mentally Ill: A Sociological Theory Being No OneBeing Realistic about ReasonsBeing ReducedBeing YourselfBelief's Own EthicsBending Over BackwardsBerlin Childhood around 1900Bernard WilliamsBertrand RussellBest ExplanationsBetter than BothBetter Than WellBetween Two WorldsBeyond HealthBeyond Hegel and NietzscheBeyond KuhnBeyond LossBeyond MelancholyBeyond Moral JudgmentBeyond PostmodernismBeyond ReductionBeyond SchizophreniaBeyond the DSM StoryBioethicsBioethics and the BrainBioethics in the ClinicBiological Complexity and Integrative PluralismBiology Is TechnologyBiosBipolar ExpeditionsBlackwell Companion to the Philosophy of EducationBlindsight & The Nature of ConsciousnessBlues - Philosophy for EveryoneBlushBob Dylan and PhilosophyBody ConsciousnessBody Image And Body SchemaBody ImagesBody LanguageBody MattersBody WorkBody-Subjects and Disordered MindsBoundBoundaries of the MindBoyleBrain Evolution and CognitionBrain FictionBrain, Mind, and Human Behavior in Contemporary Cognitive ScienceBrain-WiseBrainchildrenBrains, Buddhas, and BelievingBrainstormingBrave New WorldsBreakdown of WillBrief Child Therapy Homework PlannerBrief Inquiry into the Meaning of Sin and FaithBrief Therapy Homework PlannerBritain on the CouchBritish Idealism and the Concept of the SelfBrute RationalityBuffy the Vampire Slayer and PhilosophyBut Is It Art?Camus and SartreCartesian LinguisticsCartographies of the MindCarving Nature at Its JointsCase Studies in Biomedical Research EthicsCassandra's DaughterCato's TearsCausation and CounterfactualsCauses, Laws, and Free WillChanging Conceptions of the Child from the Renaissance to Post-ModernityChanging the SubjectChaosophyCharacter and Moral Psychology Character as Moral FictionCharles DarwinCherishmentChildhood and the Philosophy of EducationChildrenChildren, Families, and Health Care Decision MakingChoices and ConflictChoosing Not to ChooseChristmas - Philosophy for EveryoneCinema, Philosophy, BergmanCinematic MythmakingCity and Soul in Plato's RepublicClassifying MadnessClear and Queer ThinkingClinical EthicsClinical Psychiatry in Imperial GermanyCodependent ForevermoreCoffee - Philosophy for EveryoneCognition and the BrainCognition of Value in Aristotle's EthicsCognition Through Understanding: Self-Knowledge, Interlocution, Reasoning, ReflectionCognitive BiologyCognitive FictionsCognitive Neuroscience of EmotionCognitive Systems and the Extended MindCognitive Systems and the Extended Mind Cognitive Theories of Mental IllnessCoherence in Thought and ActionCollected Papers, Volume 1Collected Papers, Volume 2College SexComedy IncarnateCommitmentCommunicative Action and Rational ChoiceCompetence, Condemnation, and CommitmentConcealment And ExposureConcepts and Causes in the Philosophy of DiseaseConceptual Analysis and Philosophical NaturalismConceptual Art and PaintingConceptual Issues in Evolutionary BiologyConfessionsConfucianismConnected, or What It Means to Live in the Network SocietyConquest of AbundanceConscience and ConvenienceConsciousnessConsciousnessConsciousnessConsciousness ConsciousnessConsciousness and Its Place in NatureConsciousness and LanguageConsciousness and Mental LifeConsciousness and MindConsciousness and the NovelConsciousness and the SelfConsciousness EmergingConsciousness EvolvingConsciousness ExplainedConsciousness in ActionConsciousness RecoveredConsciousness RevisitedConsciousness, Color, and ContentConsole and ClassifyConstructing the WorldConstructive AnalysisContemporary Debates In Applied EthicsContemporary Debates in Moral TheoryContemporary Debates in Philosophy of BiologyContemporary Debates in Philosophy of MindContemporary Debates in Political PhilosophyContemporary Debates in Social PhilosophyContemporary Perspectives on Natural LawContested Knowledge: Social Theory TodayContesting PsychiatryContext and the AttitudesContinental Philosophy of ScienceControlControlling Our DestiniesConversations About Psychology and Sexual OrientationCopernicus, Darwin and FreudCrazy for YouCreating a Life of Meaning and CompassionCreating ConsilienceCreating HysteriaCreating Mental IllnessCreating Scientific ConceptsCreating the American JunkieCreation, Rationality and AutonomyCreatures Like Us?Crime and CulpabilityCrime, Punishment, and Mental IllnessCrimes of ReasonCritical New Perspectives on Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity DisorderCritical PsychiatryCritical PsychologyCritical ResistanceCritical Thinking About PsychologyCritical VisionsCross and KhoraCruel CompassionCTRL [SPACE]Cultural Psychology of the SelfCultural Theory: An IntroductionCulture and Psychiatric DiagnosisCulture and Subjective Well-BeingCulture of DeathCultures of NeurastheniaCurious EmotionsCurrent Controversies in Experimental PhilosophyCurrent Controversies in Values and ScienceCustom and Reason in HumeCustomers and Patrons of the Mad-TradeCutting God in Half - And Putting the Pieces Together AgainCylons in AmericaDamaged IdentitiesDamasio's Error and Descartes' TruthDangerous EmotionsDaniel DennettDaniel DennettDark AgesDarwin and DesignDarwin's Dangerous IdeaDarwin's LegacyDarwin, God and the Meaning of LifeDarwinian PsychiatryDarwinian ReductionismDarwinizing CultureDating: Philosophy for EveryoneDeathDeathDeath and CharacterDeath and CompassionDeath and the AfterlifeDebating DesignDebating HumanismDecision Making, Personhood and DementiaDecomposing the WillDeconstructing PsychotherapyDeconstruction and DemocracyDeeper Than DarwinDeeper than ReasonDefending Science - within ReasonDefining Psychopathology in the 21st CenturyDegrees of BeliefDeleuze and the Concepts of CinemaDelusion and Self-DeceptionDelusions and Other Irrational BeliefsDelusions and the Madness of the MassesDementiaDemons, Dreamers, and MadmenDennett and Ricoeur on the Narrative SelfDennett’s PhilosophyDepression Is a ChoiceDepression, Emotion and the SelfDepthDerrida, Deleuze, PsychoanalysisDescartesDescartes and the Passionate MindDescartes' CogitoDescartes's Changing MindDescartes's Concept of MindDescribing Inner Experience?Descriptions and PrescriptionsDesembodied Spirits and Deanimated Bodies Desert Islands and Other Texts (1953-1974)Desire and AffectDesire, Love, and IdentityDesire, Practical Reason, and the GoodDeveloping the VirtuesDiagnosing the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental DisordersDialectics of the SelfDid My Neurons Make Me Do It?Difference and IdentityDigital SoulDimensional Models of Personality DisordersDisability, Difference, DiscriminationDisjunctivismDisorders of VolitionDisorientation and Moral LifeDispatches from the Freud WarsDisrupted LivesDistractionDisturbed ConsciousnessDivided Minds and Successive SelvesDo Apes Read Minds?Do Fish Feel Pain?Do We Still Need Doctors?Does Consciousness Cause Behavior?Does the Woman Exist?Doing without ConceptsDon't be FooledDon't Believe Everything You ThinkDonald DavidsonDonald Davidson on Truth, Meaning, and the MentalDoubting Darwin?Down GirlDreaming and Other Involuntary MentationDSM-IV SourcebookDSM-IV SourcebookDSM-IV-TR CasebookDworkin and His CriticsDying to KnowDynamics in ActionDysthymia and the Spectrum of Chronic DepressionsEccentricsEducational MetamorphosesEffective IntentionsElbow Room: The Varieties of Free Will Worth WantingEmbodied Minds in ActionEmbodied RhetoricsEmbodied Selves and Divided MindsEmbryos under the MicroscopeEmergencies in Mental Health PracticeEmerging Conceptual, Ethical and Policy Issues in BionanotechnologyEmotionEmotion and ConsciousnessEmotion and PsycheEmotion ExperienceEmotion RegulationEmotion, Evolution, And RationalityEmotional IntelligenceEmotional ReasonEmotional ReasonEmotional TruthEmotions in Humans and ArtifactsEmotions in the Moral LifeEmotions in the Moral LifeEmotions, Value, and AgencyEmpathyEmpathy and AgencyEmpathy and Moral DevelopmentEmpathy and MoralityEmpathy in the Context of PhilosophyEmpirical Ethics in PsychiatryEnactivist InterventionsEnchanted LoomsEngaging BuddhismEngineering the Human GermlineEnjoymentEnvyEpicureanismEpistemic LuckEpistemologyEpistemology and EmotionsEpistemology and the Psychology of Human JudgmentEros and the GoodErotic MoralityEssays in Social NeuroscienceEssays in the Metaphysics of Mind Essays on Derek Parfit's On What MattersEssays on Free Will and Moral ResponsibilityEssays on Nonconceptual ContentEssays on Philosophical CounselingEssays on Reference, Language, and MindEssays on the Concept of Mind in Early-Modern PhilosophyEssential Sources in the Scientific Study of ConsciousnessEsssential Philosophy of PsychiatryEternal Sunshine of the Spotless MindEthical Conflicts in PsychologyEthical Issues in Forensic Mental Health ResearchEthical Issues in Human CloningEthical TheoryEthicsEthicsEthics and the A PrioriEthics and the Metaphysics of MedicineEthics and Values in PsychotherapyEthics Done RightEthics ExpertiseEthics in Plain EnglishEthics in PracticeEthics in Psychiatric ResearchEthics of PsychiatryEthics without OntologyEuropean Review of Philosophy. Vol. 5Everyday IrrationalityEvil in Modern ThoughtEvolutionEvolution and the Human MindEvolution's RainbowEvolutionary Origins of MoralityEvolutionary PsychologyExamined LifeExamined LivesExistential AmericaExistentialismExistentialism and Romantic LoveExperimental PhilosophyExperimental PhilosophyExperimental PhilosophyExperimental Philosophy, Rationalism, and NaturalismExperiments in EthicsExplaining ConsciousnessExplaining the BrainExplaining the Computational MindExplanatory PluralismExploding the Gene MythExploring HappinessExploring the SelfExpression and the InnerExpressions of JudgmentExtraordinary Science and PsychiatryFaces of IntentionFact and ValueFact and Value in EmotionFacts and ValuesFacts, Values, and NormsFads and Fallacies in the Social SciencesFaith and Wisdom in ScienceFatherhoodFear of KnowledgeFearless SpeechFeeling Pain and Being in PainFeelings and EmotionsFeelings of BeingFellow-Feeling and the Moral LifeFeminism and Its DiscontentsFeminism and Philosophy of ScienceFeminist Ethics and Social and Political PhilosophyFeminist Interpretations of Rene DescartesFeminist TheoryField Notes from ElsewhereFinding Consciousness in the BrainFingerprints of GodFlesh in the Age of ReasonFolk Psychological NarrativesFolk Psychology Re-AssessedForces of HabitForgivenessForgiveness and LoveForgiveness and RetributionFoucault 2.0Foucault and PhilosophyFoucault NowFoucault, Psychology and the Analytics of PowerFoundational Issues in Human Brain MappingFoundations of Ethical Practice, Research, and Teaching in PsychologyFour Views on Free WillFrank Ramsey (1903-1930)Free WillFree WillFree WillFree WillFree Will and Action ExplanationFree Will and LuckFree Will And Moral ResponsibilityFree Will as an Open Scientific ProblemFree Will, Agency, and Meaning in LifeFree: Why Science Hasn't Disproved Free WillFreedomFreedom and DeterminismFreedom And NeurobiologyFreedom and ResponsibiltyFreedom and ValueFreedom EvolvesFreedom RegainedFreedom vs. InterventionFreedom, Fame, Lying, and BetrayalFreudFreud and the Question of PseudoscienceFreud As PhilosopherFreud's AnswerFreud, the Reluctant PhilosopherFriedrich NietzscheFrom Chance to ChoiceFrom Clinic to ClassroomFrom Complexity to LifeFrom Enlightenment to ReceptivityFrom Knowledge to Wisdom: A Revolution for Science and the HumanitiesFrom Morality to Mental HealthFrom Passions to EmotionsFrom Philosophy to PsychotherapyFrom Valuing to ValueFrontiers of ConsciousnessFrontiers of JusticeFurnishing the MindGalileo in PittsburghGenderGender and Mental HealthGender in the MirrorGender TroubleGenesGenes, Women, EqualityGenetic Nature/CultureGenetic ProspectsGenetic ProspectsGenetic SecretsGenocide's AftermathGenomes and What to Make of ThemGerman Idealism and the JewGerman PhilosophyGetting HookedGilles DeleuzeGlobal PhilosophyGluttonyGod and Phenomenal ConsciousnessGoffman's LegacyGoing Amiss in Experimental ResearchGoodness & AdviceGrassroots SpiritualityGrave MattersGrave MattersGreedGreek Models of Mind and SelfGut ReactionsHabilitation, Health, and AgencyHabits of MindHallucinationHandbook of BioethicsHandbook of EmotionsHappinessHappinessHappinessHappinessHappiness and EducationHappiness and the Good LifeHappiness Is OverratedHappiness, Death, and the Remainder of LifeHard LuckHarmful ThoughtsHaving the World in ViewHealing PsychiatryHealing the Soul in the Age of the BrainHealth, Illness and DiseaseHealth, Science, and Ordinary LanguageHegelHeidegger and a Metaphysics of FeelingHeidegger, Metaphysics and the Univocity of BeingHermann von Helmholtz's MechanismHermeneutics As PoliticsHeterophobiaHeterosyncraciesHeuristics and BiasesHeuristics and the LawHidden ResourcesHidden SelvesHiding from HumanityHigh Art LiteHistorical OntologyHistory of Psychiatry and Medical PsychologyHistory, Historicity And ScienceHobbesHomosexualitiesHope and Dread in PsychoanalysisHot ThoughtHow Can I Be Trusted?How Can the Human Mind Occur in the Physical Universe?How Children Learn the Meanings of WordsHow Could Conscious Experiences Affect Brains?How Do We Know Who We Are?How Emotions WorkHow Emotions WorkHow History Made the MindHow Images ThinkHow is Nature Possible?How Propaganda WorksHow Science WorksHow Scientific Practices MatterHow Scientists Explain DiseaseHow The Body Shapes The MindHow the Body Shapes the Way We ThinkHow the Mind Explains BehaviorHow the Mind Uses the BrainHow to Be a StoicHow to Make Opportunity EqualHow to Solve the Mind-Body Problemhow to stop timeHow to Think More About SexHow We HopeHow We ReasonHuman CloningHuman Development, Language and the Future of MankindHuman EnhancementHuman Evolution, Reproduction, and MoralityHuman GoodnessHuman Identity and BioethicsHuman NatureHuman NatureHuman Nature and the Limits of ScienceHuman-Built WorldHumanismHumanism, What's That?HumanityHumans, Animals, MachinesHumeHumeHume on Motivation and VirtueHume's True ScepticismHusserlHystoriesI of the VortexI Was WrongIdeas that MatterIdentifying the MindIdentity and Agency in Cultural WorldsIgnorance and ImaginationIllnessImagination and Its PathologiesImagination and the Meaningful BrainImagining NumbersImmortal RemainsImproving Nature?In Defense of an Evolutionary Concept of HealthIn Defense of SentimentalityIn Love With LifeIn Praise of Athletic BeautyIn Praise of DesireIn Praise of Natural PhilosophyIn Praise of the WhipIn Pursuit of HappinessIn Search of HappinessIn the Name of GodIn the Name of IdentityIn the Space of ReasonsIn the SwarmIn Two MindsInclusive EthicsIncompatibilism's AllureIndividual Differences in Conscious ExperienceInfinity and PerspectiveInformation ArtsInformed Consent in Medical ResearchIngmar Bergman, Cinematic PhilosopherInhuman ThoughtsInner PresenceInsanityIntegrating Psychotherapy and PharmacotherapyIntegrity and the Fragile SelfIntelligent VirtueIntentionIntentionality, Deliberation and AutonomyIntentions and IntentionalityIntentions and IntentionalityInterpreting MindsInterpreting NietzscheIntroducing Greek PhilosophyIntrospection and ConsciousnessIntrospection VindicatedIntuition, Imagination, and Philosophical MethodologyIntuitionismInvestigating the Psychological WorldIrrationalityIrrationalityIs Academic Feminism Dead?Is It Me or My Meds?Is Long-Term Therapy Unethical?Is Oedipus Online?Is Science Neurotic?Is Science Value Free?Is the Visual World a Grand Illusion?Is There a Duty to Die?Issues in Philosophical CounselingJacques LacanJacques RancièreJacques RanciereJean-Paul SartreJohn McDowellJohn SearleJohn Searle's Ideas About Social RealityJohn Stuart MillJohn Stuart Mill and the Writing of CharacterJoint AttentionJokesJonathan EdwardsJudging and UnderstandingJustice for ChildrenJustice in RobesJustice, Luck, and KnowledgeKantKant and MiltonKant and the Fate of AutonomyKant and the Limits of AutonomyKant and the Role of Pleasure in Moral ActionKant on Freedom, Law, and HappinessKant on Moral AutonomyKant's Anatomy of EvilKant's Anatomy of the Intelligent MindKant's Theory of VirtueKarl JaspersKarl PopperKarl Popper, Science and EnlightenmentKey Concepts in PhilosophyKierkegaardKierkegaard as PhenomenologistKierkegaard's Concept of DespairKierkegaard's MuseKinds of MindsKinds, Things, and StuffKnowing, Knowledge and BeliefsKnowledge MonopoliesKnowledge, Belief, and CharacterKnowledge, Possibility, and ConsciousnessLacanLack of CharacterLack of CharacterLanguageLanguage in ContextLanguage, Consciousness, CultureLanguage, Culture, and MindLanguage, Vision, and MusicLaw and the BrainLaw, Liberty, and PsychiatryLaws, Mind, and Free WillLeaving YouLectures on the History of Political PhilosophyLevelling the Playing FieldLiberal Education in a Knowledge SocietyLiberatory PsychiatryLife and ActionLife at the Texas State Lunatic Asylum, 1857-1997Life Is Not a Game of PerfectLife of the MindLife's FormLife, Death, & MeaningLife, Death, and Meaning: Key Philosophical Readings on the Big Questions Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of UtilityLife, Sex, and IdeasLight in the Dark RoomLike a Splinter in Your MindLiving and Dying WellLiving NarrativeLiving Outside Mental IllnessLiving with DarwinLiving With One’s PastLockeLocke LockeLogic and the Art of Memory Loneliness in Philosophy, Psychology, and LiteratureLooking for SpinozaLooking for The StrangerLost SoulsLOT 2LoveLoveLove's ConfusionsLove's VisionLove, Friendship, and the SelfLove, Sex & TragedyLuckyLudwig WittgensteinLustLyingMachine ConsciousnessMad for FoucaultMad TravelersMade with WordsMadness And Death In PhilosophyMadness and DemocracyMadness at HomeMadness Is CivilizationMaking Natural KnowledgeMaking Sense of EvolutionMaking Sense of Freedom and ResponsibilityMaking the DSM-5Making the Social WorldMaking TruthMale Female EmailMan, Beast, and ZombieMandated Reporting of Suspected Child AbuseManiaManic Depression and CreativityMapping the Edges and the In-betweenMapping the Future of BiologyMarcus AureliusMaster PassionsMatters of the MindMe++Meaning and Moral OrderMeaning and Value in a Secular AgeMeaning in LifeMeaning in Life and Why It MattersMeaning, Basic Self-Knowledge, and MindMeanings of ArtMeasuring HappinessMeasuring PsychopathologyMedia MadnessMedical Enhancement and PosthumanityMedical NihilismMedicine and Philosophy in Classical AntiquityMedicine of the PersonMedicine, Mental Health, Religion, Science and Well-BeingMeditations on Self-Discipline and FailureMelancholy And the Care of the SoulMelancholy and the Otherness of GodMementoMemory and NarrativeMental ActionsMental CausationMental Causation and OntologyMental HealthMental Health At The CrossroadsMental Health Policy in BritainMerit, Meaning, and Human BondageMerleau-PontyMerleau-Ponty and the Possibilities of PhilosophyMetacognition and Theory of MindMetacreationMetaethical SubjectivismMetaethicsMetal and FleshMetaphors of MemoryMetapoliticsMethods in MindMichel FoucaultMidlifeMill's UtilitarianismMindMindMindMind and ConsciousnessMind and CosmosMind and MechanismMind GamesMind in a Physical WorldMind in Everyday Life and Cognitive ScienceMind in LifeMind TimeMind's LandscapeMind, Brain and the Elusive SoulMind, Brain, and Free WillMind, Reason and ImaginationMinding MindsMindreadersMindreading AnimalsMinds and PersonsMinds, Brains, and LawMinds, Ethics, and ConditionalsMindshapingMindsightMindworldsMirror, MirrorMixed FeelingsMockingbird YearsModels of the SelfModern Social ImaginariesModern Theories of JusticeModernity and SubjectivityModernity and TechnologyMoody Minds DistemperedMoral BrainsMoral DimensionsMoral FailureMoral ImaginationMoral LiteracyMoral MachinesMoral ParticularismMoral PsychologyMoral Psychology and Human AgencyMoral Psychology, Volume 1Moral Psychology, Volume 2Moral Psychology, Volume 3Moral Psychology: Volume IVMoral RepairMoral Responsibility and Alternative PossibilitiesMoral TribesMoral Value and Human DiversityMorality and Self-InterestMorality in a Natural WorldMorality, Moral Luck and ResponsibilityMotherhoodMotive and RightnessMoving Beyond Prozac, DSM, and the New PsychiatryMultiple Analogies in Science and PhilosophyMultiple Identities & False MemoriesMusic, Madness, and the Unworking of LanguageMy Brain Made Me Do ItMy Double UnveiledMy WayNarrativeNarrative and IdentityNarrative MedicineNarrative PsychiatryNarrative Theory and the Cognitive SciencesNatural Ethical FactsNatural Kinds and Conceptual ChangeNatural MindsNatural-Born CybogsNaturalism and the First-Person PerspectiveNaturalism and the Human ConditionNaturalism in the Philosophy of HealthNaturalism in the Philosophy of HealthNaturalized BioethicsNaturalizing the MindNatureNature and NarrativeNear Death ExperienceNeither Bad nor MadNeither Victim nor SurvivorNeuro-Philosophy and the Healthy MindNeuroethicsNeuroethicsNeuroexistentialismNeurological Foundations of Cognitive Neuroscience Neurophilosophy at WorkNeurophilosophy of Free WillNeuropoliticsNeuropsychoanalysis in PracticeNeuroscience and PhilosophyNew Essays on the Explanation of ActionNew Philosophy for a New MediaNew Versions of VictimsNew Waves in Philosophy of ActionNietzscheNietzsche and Buddhist PhilosophyNietzsche on Ethics and PoliticsNietzsche's TherapyNietzsche, Culture and EducationNietzsche: The Man and His PhilosophyNihil UnboundNoir AnxietyNormative EthicsNormativityNorms of NatureNotebooks 1951-1959Notes Toward a Performative Theory of AssemblyNothing So AbsurdOblivionOn AnxietyOn ApologyOn Being AuthenticOn Being AuthenticOn BeliefOn BetrayalOn BullshitOn DelusionOn DesireOn EmotionsOn HashishOn Human NatureOn Human RightsOn Loving Our EnemiesOn Nature and LanguageOn PersonalityOn ReflectionOn Romantic LoveOn the EmotionsOn the Freud WatchOn the Government of the LivingOn the Human ConditionOn the InternetOn the Meaning of LifeOn the Philosophy of LawOn the Pragmatics of CommunicationOn the Punitive SocietyOn TruthOn Virtue EthicsOn What MattersOn What We Owe to Each OtherOne Hundred DaysOnflowOnly a Promise of HappinessOntology of ConsciousnessOpen MindedOpen Your EyesOrgans without BodiesOther MindsOur Last Great IllusionOur Own MindsOur Posthuman FutureOur StoriesOut of Its MindOut of Our HeadsOxford Guide to the MindOxford Handbook of Psychiatric EthicsOxford Studies in Normative EthicsOxford Studies in Normative Ethics, Volume 7Oxford Textbook of Philosophy of PsychiatryPanic DisorderPanpsychismPanpsychism in the WestPartialityPassionate EnginesPassionate EnginesPathologies of BeliefPathologies of ReasonPatient Autonomy and the Ethics of ResponsibilityPC, M.D.Perceiving the WorldPerception & CognitionPerception and Basic BeliefsPerception, Hallucination, and IllusionPerceptual ExperiencePerfecting VirtuePerplexities of ConsciousnessPersistencePersonal AutonomyPersonal Autonomy in SocietyPersonal IdentityPersonal Identity and EthicsPersonal Identity and Fractured SelvesPersonhood and Health CarePersonsPersons and BodiesPersons, Humanity, and the Definition of DeathPersons, Souls and DeathPerspectives on ImitationPerspectives on PragmatismPessimismPhenomenal Concepts and Phenomenal KnowledgePhenomenal ConsciousnessPhenomenal IntentionalityPhenomenology and ExistentialismPhenomenology and Philosophy of MindPhenomenology of IllnessPhilosophersPhilosophers on MusicPhilosophers without GodsPhilosophical CounselingPhilosophical Counselling and the UnconsciousPhilosophical DevicesPhilosophical Foundations of NeurosciencePhilosophical History and the Problem of ConsciousnessPhilosophical Issues in PharmaceuticsPhilosophical Issues in PsychiatryPhilosophical Issues in PsychiatryPhilosophical Issues in Psychiatry IIPhilosophical MethodologyPhilosophical MidwiferyPhilosophical Myths of the FallPhilosophical Perspectives on DepictionPhilosophical Perspectives on Technology and PsychiatryPhilosophical PracticePhilosophical Reflections on DisabilityPhilosophizing About Sex Philosophizing the EverydayPhilosophy and HappinessPhilosophy and LivingPhilosophy and PsychiatryPhilosophy and PsychotherapyPhilosophy and Science FictionPhilosophy and the EmotionsPhilosophy and the EmotionsPhilosophy and the Interpretation of Pop CulturePhilosophy and the Moving ImagePhilosophy and the NeurosciencesPhilosophy and This Actual WorldPhilosophy As FictionPhilosophy BitesPhilosophy Bites BackPhilosophy for Counselling and PsychotherapyPhilosophy for LifePhilosophy in a New CenturyPhilosophy in an Age of SciencePhilosophy in Children's LiteraturePhilosophy in the Roman EmpirePhilosophy of ActionPhilosophy of ActionPhilosophy of BiologyPhilosophy of BiologyPhilosophy of BiologyPhilosophy of BiologyPhilosophy of BodyPhilosophy of Film and Motion PicturesPhilosophy of LovePhilosophy of Love, Sex, and MarriagePhilosophy of MedicinePhilosophy of MindPhilosophy of Mind and CognitionPhilosophy of Personal Identity and Multiple PersonalityPhilosophy of PsychologyPhilosophy of Public HealthPhilosophy of SciencePhilosophy of SciencePhilosophy of Technology: The Technological ConditionPhilosophy of the Social SciencesPhilosophy on TapPhilosophy PracticePhilosophy the Day after TomorrowPhilosophy's Role in Counseling and PsychotherapyPhilosophy, Neuroscience and ConsciousnessPhilosophy, Politics, DemocracyPhotography and PhilosophyPhysical RealizationPhysicalism and Its DiscontentsPhysicalism and Mental CausationPhysicalism, or Something Near EnoughPhysician-Assisted DyingPillar of SaltPin-up GrrrlsPlant MindsPlatoPlatoPlato, Not Prozac!Platonic Ethics, Old and NewPluralistic CasuistryPolarities of ExperiencesPolitical EmotionsPopper, Objectivity and the Growth of KnowledgePornPorn StudiesPornography, Sex, and FeminismPortrait of the Psychiatrist as a Young ManPositive NihilismPostcolonial DisordersPostpsychiatryPosttraumatic Stress DisorderPower and the SelfPower SplitPractical Autonomy and BioethicsPractical ConflictsPractical Identity and Narrative AgencyPractical PhilosophyPractical RulesPractical Tortoise RaisingPractically ProfoundPracticing Feminist Ethics in PsychologyPragmatic BioethicsPragmatismPragmatism, Old And NewPraise and BlamePredicative MindsPreferences and Well-BeingPrescriptions for the MindPresocraticsPrimary and Secondary QualitiesPrimates and PhilosophersPrimitive ColorsPrivacyPrivileged AccessProblems in MindProblems of RationalityProzac As a Way of LifeProzac BacklashProzac on the CouchPsyche and SomaPsychiatric Aspects of Justification, Excuse and Mitigation in Anglo-American Criminal Law Psychiatric Cultures ComparedPsychiatric Diagnosis and ClassificationPsychiatric EthicsPsychiatric HegemonyPsychiatric PowerPsychiatric SlaveryPsychiatry and Philosophy of SciencePsychiatry and ReligionPsychiatry as a Human SciencePsychiatry as Cognitive NeurosciencePsychiatry in SocietyPsychiatry in the New MilleniumPsychiatry in the Scientific ImagePsychiatry, Psychoanalysis, And The New Biology Of MindPsycho-Physical Dualism TodayPsychoanalysis and Narrative MedicinePsychoanalysis and the Philosophy of SciencePsychological Concepts and Biological PsychiatryPsychology and PhilosophyPsychology and the Question of AgencyPsychology's Interpretive TurnPsychology, Psychotherapy, Psychoanalysis, and the Politics of Human RelationshipsPsychotherapy and ConfidentialityPsychotherapy As PraxisPublic PhilosophyPunishmentPure ImmanencePurple HazePursuing MeaningQuality of Life and Human DifferenceQueer PhilosophyQuestions for FreudQuestions for FreudQuine and Davidson on Language, Thought and RealityRaceRace in Contemporary MedicineRadiant CoolRadical AlterityRadical ExternalismRadical HopeRational and Social AgencyRational CausationRational Choice in an Uncertain WorldRationality + Consciousness = Free WillRationality and FreedomRationality and the Reflective MindRationality in ActionRawls, Dewey, and ConstructivismRe-creating MedicineRe-EmergenceRe-Engineering Philosophy for Limited BeingsReading AutobiographyReading Bernard WilliamsReading SartreReadings in the Philosophy of TechnologyReal MaterialismReal Natures and Familiar ObjectsReal ScienceRealism in ActionReason & EmancipationReason in ActionReason in PhilosophyReason's GriefReasonably ViciousReasoning About Rational AgentsReasoning in Biological DiscoveriesReasons from WithinReasons without RationalismReclaiming CognitionReclaiming the SoulReconceiving SchizophreniaReconstructing Reason and RepresentationReconstructing the Cognitive WorldRecreative MindsRediscovering EmotionRediscovering EmpathyReference and ExistenceReference and the Rational MindReflections on Ethics and ResponsibilityReflections On How We LiveReframing Disease ContextuallyRefusing CareRegulating SexReinventing the SoulRelativism and Human RightsRelativism and the Foundations of PhilosophyRelativism and the Foundations of PhilosophyReliable ReasoningReligion without GodRelying on OthersRemembering HomeResponsibility and PunishmentResponsibility and PunishmentResponsibility from the MarginsRestraining RageRethinking 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Moral Tribes is sure to attract a good deal of attention from philosophers, and much of it will be critical. Greene has made a name for himself with his work in experimental philosophy which scrutinizes the use of philosophical intuitions based on hypothetical scenarios, sometimes known as "thought experiments." Greene has argued in much of his scholarly work that we can assess these intuitions and, using what we know about evolutionary psychology and neuroscience, we can give greater priority to some intuitions than to others. In particular, he argues that the nineteenth century moral theory of utilitarianism is basically right, and that although we are drawn to Kantian ideas that prioritize the dignity of human life and the importance of human rights, it makes more sense to favor maximizing the happiness of society as a whole. Here, he sets these ideas out to a more general readership, and he expands on them. Distinctively, he aims to provide a way for society to navigate between respecting people's group beliefs that affect their moral outlook, these mainly being the ones stemming from their religious affiliation and group traditions. Unsurprisingly, he argues for a liberal view that allows people to believe what they want and says that as a society, we should not constrain the whole of society with rules based on particular religious beliefs.
More interesting than its defense of Utilitarianism is the fact that Moral Tribes is one of the first attempts to bring experimental philosophy to a wider audience. It is a long (over 400 pages) and thoughtful book with some difficult, if not to say tedious, sections, but it is approachable and often intriguing. There are 28 pages of footnotes, and the Bibliography is 17 pages, but it is possible to read and follow the main text without consulting those at all. Making technical philosophy accessible to a wider group is something that academic philosophers have not done enough, although some public philosophers have managed to make themselves known outside of narrow professional circles -- Daniel Dennett, Ray Monk, Martha Nussbaum, Peter Singer, Arthur Caplan, and in the UK, Julian Baggini. Moral Tribes has the potential to make Joshua Greene another public intellectual.
The phrase "experimental philosophy" often elicits strong reactions from academic philosophers, who tend to be either strongly for it, or more often, vehemently critical of it, or at least, to certain aspects of it as they see it. It is not a well-defined term, but it involves doing surveys on groups of people about their intuitive responses to philosophical questions, and being careful to see how responses vary from one group to another, and with different ways of posing those questions. It also includes putting people in brain scanners and seeing how different parts of their brain activate when considering philosophical questions. So there are close ties between psychology and experimental philosophy; indeed, Greene is now director of the "Moral Cognition Lab," housed in Harvard's Psychology Department. The reason that many philosophers do not like experimental philosophy is that they think that philosophy and psychology should be kept separate at least to the extent that philosophical truth is not determined by what most people happen to believe. They also very fond of arguing that arguments made by experimental philosophers do not show what they claim to show, even if one accepts the starting assumptions. So Green may face a tougher audience among his peers than he does among the general public.
But what exactly are his arguments? There is a lot to set out. Greene defines morality in a psychological way: it is a system of beliefs, reactions, and feelings that evolved as a way to help people in groups to cooperate with each other. It helps one group compete better with other groups for scarce resources, thus improving their ability to survive. This helps what has been called 'The Tragedy of the Commons,' allowing altruistic behavior within groups, and overcoming selfishness. However, once different groups acquired their own moral codes and then started living with each other, we came to what Greene calls 'The Tragedy of Common Sense Morality," which is that different groups or "tribes" have very different moral codes, and these differences lead to bitter disagreement and fights about who is right. Much of Moral Tribes is aimed at resolving this second tragedy. He emphasizes that it is a major problem. Greene spends a lot of time setting out evidence that we do separate ourselves into 'us' versus 'them' and that many of our reactions to other people depend on whether we categorize people as one of us, or one of them. As he puts it, we are hardwired for tribalism. Our understanding of the world is very much dependent on what groups we identify with, not just in our values and traditions, but our factual beliefs. This makes for vigorous debate between groups.
We only get to the "Trolley Problem" after a hundred pages or so. Here Greene uses this thought experiment to illustrate the conflict between Utilitarian approaches to morality and Kantian ones. The basic question in the trolley problem is whether to sacrifice one person to save many, and it turns out that people's answers depend very much on how the problem is set up. (The basic idea is set out in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fs0E69krO_Q%20) There is now a huge literature on different variations of the setup, trying to nail down exactly what it is about the different situations that leads people to change their answer. Greene amasses evidence that when people are reluctant to sacrifice the one for the many, this is due to emotional reactions coming from specific parts of the brain that part of our most hard-wired feelings about not causing harm to others. The longer we have to think about the case, the longer our rational mind has to overrule that immediate reaction, and the more people conclude it is permissible to sacrifice the one. This part of his argument is a major step towards arguing that our Kantian intuitions are part of our evolutionary heritage but should be dismissed when taking a calmer more rational view of the situation.
It is at this stage that Greene comes out with his advocacy for utilitarianism as a moral approach, and he starts on an examination of how we should go about determining what moral views to adopt. That is, he starts discussing meta-ethics. He calls his view "deep pragmatism." He argues we have no way of accessing some deep metaphysical truth about what is morally right, but we do have to decide what to do, and given what we know about the world, it makes most sense to maximize happiness. Whose happiness? "Everyone's" he says. (p. 163). We should be impartial because there are no rational grounds on which to be partial, preferring some people over others.
This raises one of the central problems for Greene, which he never addresses. Why do we only consider human happiness? Why isn't the happiness of other animals important, and indeed, why isn't it comparable in importance to human happiness? At many points in the book, Greene seems to just assume that we only need to consider humans. But if we are being impartial, then it would just be arbitrary to prefer our species over other species. If on the other hand, it can be reasonable to draw a distinction between humans and other animals, then why isn't it equally rational to draw a distinction between different groups of humans, and prefer those who are in our own group? This comes up again when Greene discusses abortion. I return to the issue below.
In order for people with different values to be able to come to agreement about how their society should be run, Greene says that there needs to be a common currency of values, so that dialog is possible. Without a common currency, there's no way to progress, Greene assumes. Neither religion, science nor pure reason can deliver such a common currency, he argues, with skepticism that will be familiar to anyone who has taken a moral philosophy class. Since we don't have direct access to the moral truth, the only option is to find common ground among the people who have to live together. Greene proposes that utilitarianism provides this common ground. In a carefully formulated (but still rather mysterious) sentence, he writes that "utilitarianism becomes uniquely attractive once our moral thinking has been objectively improved by a scientific understanding or morality." (p. 189). Furthermore, referring to the distinction between the fast and slow brain common in neuroscience and set out recently by Daniel Kahneman in Thinking, Fast and Slow, he claims that "utilitarianism is the native philosophy of the human natural mode, and all of the objections to utilitarianism are ultimately driven by automatic settings." (p. 194) So utilitarianism is the best moral theory simply because it is the one that everyone already believes, and this provides the shared values that we are looking for to run society.
Of course, Greene's approach here is bound to be highly controversial. If there is one shared morality, it would seem much closer to virtue ethics contextualized to a small group: the polis, the tribe, or the family. That's what anthropology seems to point to. As Greene himself spent a lot of space pointing out earlier in the book, people care about their own group, and often have no sense of obligation to distant peoples. Greene is fully aware of this, but he argues that people come to recognize the importance of impartiality. We all understand the Golden Rule, treat others as you would wish to be treated. While this may not weaken his argument, it is odd that the Golden Rule is generally held up as a prime element of Kantian morality. It suggests that ideas of fairness are at least as fundamental and shared among us as ideas of maximizing happiness. Greene does bring this into his conception of utilitarianism, summarizing it as "maximize happiness impartially" (p. 203). But there may be other ways to bring in ideas of fairness and impartiality, and he does not explore them.
Greene is concerned to defend utilitarianism from the standard objections to it that most philosophers consider to be crushing. I will not consider them all here, but the central ones are that utilitarianism does not defend the rights of individuals, and that it is too demanding a theory, requiring people to sacrifice their own happiness to help others. His take on rights is relatively straightforward, even if unconvincing: we should not take out intuitions about rights seriously, because they come from our "automatic settings," the fast brain. The moral distinction between what we intentionally do and what we allow to happen is based on a cognitive by-product of our evolutionary history, and thus, does not need to be taken seriously, at least in the form that it takes in Kantian moral reasoning. He reduces these intuitions as coming from what he calls an "antiviolence gizmo" (p. 250) and says while they are often useful because they prevent violence, they should not be taken to mean that we should never engage in violence for the greater good.
In response to the criticism that utilitarianism is too demanding, Greene says that we can't be perfect, and that it would in practical terms, it is impossible to be perfect. We can't completely sacrifice our quality of lives for others because we would make our lives unlivable. Our brains are not set up for such concern for strangers. We would soon become exhausted and miserable. It would be good to help others, even distant strangers, even if we don't really much are about them. Greene's central message here is that utilitarianism does not require to completely turn around our lives for the sake of strangers: we can be content with doing what feels comfortable to us. It is part of our evolutionary nature to have family and friends, living in communities, and to abandon this nature cause unhappiness. We can and should still give money and support to those who need help, but not at great personal sacrifice.
Greene's argument here is odd because he provides no evidence for his claims. Is it really true that people who devote their lives to helping others have to give up family, friends and community? It is not clear that it is. People who do live a life of service often seem unusually contented with their lives. Maybe it would be difficult at first to live a life with less space and no luxuries, but billions of people do it and achieve a good amount of happiness. Even if he is right that we would be unhappy in devoting our lives to the happiness of others, it is far from clear why utilitarianism does not demand it anyway. When he says that it is not a practical suggestion, that just seems to mean that it would be difficult, not that it is impossible to accomplish. At points he seems to accept this, and he says that we are just selfish and hypocritical, and being only human, there's nothing to be done about it. But if we don't feel guilty, then in what sense can Greene claim that utilitarianism is our native moral philosophy or that it is uniquely attractive? The idea that we have responsibility to help others seems just one of the many competing moral ideas that we use. Maybe Greene would do better with a strong pro-capitalist answer, arguing that we do more good by working hard in our jobs, creating wealth and employment for others through our own work, and if we gave up buying gifts for others and luxuries for ourselves, we would be taking away employment from people who make those goods. But again, that would require some substantial evidence.
There are similar issues regarding Greene's discussion of punishment. The standard debate between utilitarianism and Kantian approaches is straightforward. Utilitarians say that we should only punish people when it is for the social good. Kantians say we should punish wrong-doers for what they have done wrong: they are paying their price for their crime, and they are getting what they deserve. On the Kantian approach, justice demands punishment even when it is not for the social good. Most people feel that while it is true that punishment should do social good, it is also true that wrong-doers deserve to be punished: that is, they like some combination of utilitarianism and Kantianism, and then the debate that follows is whether we can make theoretical sense of such a preference. Greene's approach is to discount the Kantian intuitions, saying we should be less fond of punishment. Our Kantian intuitions are socially useful most of the time, he concedes, but we should not take them to be moral universals. Again, using a little evolutionary psychology (or at least an imagined version of what it would look like if it could be a science) and some studies of people's responses to imagined scenarios, he claims that our Kantian intuitions about punishment are produced by our "punishment gizmos" so that our taste for justice is a useful illusion (p. 274). Greene's suggestion that utilitarianism provides a shared moral system about punishment while our values of just deserts can be discounted is unconvincing. If anything, the ideas about just deserts are probably more widely shared among different groups. Furthermore, there are many careful arguments made for Kantian approaches which Greene doesn't even address. So we end up with a great deal of hand-waving towards a sketch of how a detailed approach to this would go. It's interesting, but it isn't going to change anyone's mind.
The final section of the book, 65 pages long, goes into more detail about how to use Greene's approach to address particular moral issues. It is here that he gives his most sustained attack on the idea of rights, but he is also ready to endorse talk of fundamental rights in our ordinary moral language, because it is useful to do so. So for example, he is happy to endorse the idea that slavery violates fundamental human rights as a way of expressing his basic moral commitment against slavery, because it causes such deep unhappiness. He argues that this is a good expression of moral conviction; presumably if it were useful, he would also endorse appealing to God-given rights in public moral expression, even if we don't believe in God. While consistent, it is hard to see why this does not count as deceptively using moral language to manipulate others. But maybe the use of the phrase "fundamental right" is at least vaguer in its metaphysical commitments than "God-given right" and so is less problematic.
Greene examines the morality of abortion to show how his approach goes. It is not an easy issue for utilitarians because it means resolving whose happiness counts. On a standard utilitarian approach, killing a person is wrong because it deprives them of future happiness and it also makes their family and friends unhappy, as well as causing a more general sense of anxiety about safety in the population. If we are to count a fetus in the same way that we count as a person who has been born, then of course killing the fetus is as bad as murder. But it also seems that a couple who has sex and uses contraception to prevent pregnancy is also stopping the development of a future human, and this is also nearly as bad as murder. Indeed, it seems that women have a responsibility to bring in as many humans into the world as possible to increase the amount of total happiness, at least until we get to the stage where adding more people starts to reduce the total happiness of the world. But if we don't want to go down this list of conclusions, we need to work out when we have no obligation to maximize the number of individuals in the world, even when that would increase the total happiness. The problem is compounded when we realize that if happiness is what matters, and humans are not the only creatures capable of happiness, then we should be maximizing the numbers of other creatures in the world too, and we should not be killing them when doing so reduces the amount of happiness in the world.
Of course, Greene does not believe that we can use rights to solve the problem: he believes neither in the "right to choose" nor the "right to life." He spends some time boiling down what he takes to be the actual positions of the pro-choice and pro-life groups with their different commitments about the status of the fetus as deserving protection. Then he considers what a moral pragmatist solution would be. Naturally he looks at the social effects of making abortion legal or illegal, although his discussion is inevitably vague, since it is hard to predict and quantify what the effects would be. Nevertheless, the future existence of people who would otherwise have been aborted is a large factor that gives abortion opponents a strong argument. But Greene says that it is too much to ask of nonheroic people (p. 325). As with his earlier defense of utilitarianism against the criticism that it demands too much of people, Greene says that it is unreasonable to expect people to bring new humans into the world when they don't want to. He doesn't say much about why, but presumably his idea is that it goes against our basic selfishness. We can't expect people to disrupt their lives that much, and so we can't take that prolife argument seriously. Greene's position here is really puzzling, as it was before. It is hard to see why it is unreasonable to expect people to make deep sacrifices when it will be good for society. To say that it would be hard for them to do so doesn't explain much.
His ultimate position is that the prochoice argument makes more sense since it doesn't rely on supernatural metaphysical commitments, and that it is plausible that existing people are happier on the whole when abortion is legal. He concedes that the prochoice argument relies on some criterion of what makes people worthy of moral consideration, and that they are not able to give any simple answer to what that is, even if they don't rely on any supernatural claims. But it is here that his neglect of non-human animals comes in. If we need to take account of non-humans, then wouldn't we similarly need to take account of early-stage fetuses? Both have the capacity for present and future happiness, so it is hard to see why they would not deserve moral consideration. If fetuses don't deserve moral consideration, then presumably non-humans don't either, but that's hard to square with our ordinary practices and the utilitarian valuation of happiness as a fundamental value.
As my discussion has indicated, Moral Tribes is provocative and frustrating. Greene provides a fascinating glimpse of what it might be to do scientifically informed moral philosophy, but most of his discussions are more like suggestions of how the argument might go, rather than a detailed and convincing set of steps to a conclusion. His approach does pose an interesting challenge to opponents of utilitarianism regarding what they will say about the evolution of our intuitive reactions and what that means in terms of how seriously we should take those reactions. But right now they can just say that the science is pretty speculative at this stage, and we would do well to hold off until we are more confident about the details.
© 2013 Christian Perring
Christian Perring, Professor of Philosophy, Dowling College, New York