Over the past decade important research on the neuroscience and psychology of moral judgment has transformed our understanding of morality, highlighting the role of intuition and emotion. There is urgent need for an interdisciplinary approach to assess the possible ethical implications of this research. Therefore, our research project will aim to clarify the proper role of emotion and intuition in moral decision-making.
In 2010 scholars from the Universities of Cologne (Birte Englich, social psychology), Groningen (Stephan Schleim, theoretical psychology), and Oxford (Guy Kahane, philosophy) received a research grant within the European Platform for Life Sciences, Mind Sciences and the Humanities framework of the Volkswagen Foundation in Hanover, Germany. They hired a team of young researchers: Regina Rini from the New York University, Susanne Schmittat from the University of Maastricht, and Felix Schirmann from the Freie Universität Berlin.
They shall (1) empirically compare the role of emotion and intuition in experts’ versus lay people’s moral decision-making, and identify factors that account for differences between expert and non-expert moral judgment (Cologne); (2) clarify the concepts of moral emotion and intuition and assess the possibility of drawing normative implications from neuroscientific findings (Oxford); (3) examine the historical sources of the shift to thinking about morality as based in the brain, and review the influence of this conception of morality on actual normative discourses (Groningen). [For information on the project parts, please see Research]
For more information about the project and our research, please visit About Us, Research, Publications and Activities. If you have any questions concerning a particular project component, please contact the respective researcher. In case of general questions with respect to the project as a whole or comments regarding this website, please contact Stephan Schleim.