Philosophical implications and multidisciplinary challenges of moral physiology

Stephan Schleim*, Felix Schirmann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Neuroethics deals with the normative implications of advances and new technology of neuroscience. Some scholars argue that experiments on moral judgment might allow solutions to moral problems in the future or already nowadays. We discuss this research under the label of moral physiology to delineate this theoretical question from the normative implications of applied neurotechnology. After summarizing influential theories of the field we turn to a methodological and theoretical reflection concerning the way to investigate moral judgment experimentally, as well as functional magnetic resonance imaging, one of the leading methods of behavioural and cognitive neuroscience. We relate this to general challenges within neuroethics, philosophy, and a multi-disciplinary view on human morality. We argue that moral physiology may indeed yield normatively relevant findings but only under the assumption of certain normative stances which cannot be justified ultimately by neuroscience experiments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-146
Number of pages20
JournalTrames-Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences
Volume15
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Keywords

  • neuroethics
  • moral cognition
  • moral psychology
  • neurophilosophy
  • fMRI
  • moral decision-making
  • moral emotion
  • moral naturalism
  • DECISION-MAKING
  • PREFRONTAL CORTEX
  • INDIVIDUAL-DIFFERENCES
  • HEMODYNAMIC SIGNALS
  • NEURONAL-ACTIVITY
  • FUNCTIONAL MRI
  • NEURAL BASIS
  • BOLD SIGNAL
  • JUDGMENT
  • FMRI

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