#228: Reinventing the Wheel

#228: Reinventing the Wheel

Whenever I read or listen to Sam Harris about morality (see here, for instance), it seems like he’s not saying anything much more sophisticated than this. Simon Blackburn’s reply to Harris from the same panel discussion is worth checking out as well.

Also hey look – it’s a comic that isn’t just a lengthy buildup to a bad pun! Yay! To be continued…

Discussion (2)¬

  1. Ben says:

    This debate would be more useful and interesting if ethical theories were treated as frameworks of analysis, rather than as truths. Like even someone who prefers deontology or virtue ethics should still agree that using neuroscience to study what types of inputs lead to human happiness is an interesting and useful thing to do, right?

  2. chaospet says:

    Absolutely! There’s no doubt that neuroscience (and psychology, biology, etc) can provide us a lot of information that is relevant to figuring out the morally best ways of living and setting up societies, etc. But as you say, that data will be relevant in different ways from a wide variety of moral theories and perspectives, and we still need to figure out what those theories get right/wrong. My issue is just with the way that Harris seems to suggest that we can replace *all* of the work of moral philosophy with empirical data from the sciences.

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