Moral Thinking, Fast and Slow  book cover
1st Edition

Moral Thinking, Fast and Slow

ISBN 9781138205147
Published September 10, 2018 by Routledge
108 Pages

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Book Description

In recent research, dual-process theories of cognition have been the primary model for explaining moral judgment and reasoning. These theories understand moral thinking in terms of two separate domains: one deliberate and analytic, the other quick and instinctive.

This book presents a new theory of the philosophy and cognitive science of moral judgment. Hanno Sauer develops and defends an account of "triple-process" moral psychology, arguing that moral thinking and reasoning are only insufficiently understood when described in terms of a quick but intuitive and a slow but rational type of cognition. This approach severely underestimates the importance and impact of dispositions to initiate and engage in critical thinking – the cognitive resource in charge of counteracting my-side bias, closed-mindedness, dogmatism, and breakdowns of self-control. Moral cognition is based, not on emotion and reason, but on an integrated network of intuitive, algorithmic and reflective thinking.

Moral Thinking, Fast and Slow will be of great interest to philosophers and students of ethics, philosophy of psychology and cognitive science.

Table of Contents


1. Dual Process Theory

1.1 Dual Process Theory: Origins

1.2. Dual Process Theory: Prospects and Perils

1.3. Dual Process Theory: Moral Judgment

2. From Dual to Triple Process Theory

2.1. Motivating Triple Process Theory

2.2. Moral Bullshit

2.3. Moral Reasoning

2.4. Unleashing Type III

2.5. Scaffolding Critical Thinking

3. A Triple Process Theory of Moral Cognition

3.1. Triple Process Moral Psychology: An Outline

3.2. Vindicating Progressive Morality

3.3. Initiating Override: Reflective Dispositions and Type III Failure

3.4. Individual Differences in Moral Judgment

3.5. Executing Override: Crystallized Mindware

3.6. Intuition Activation

3.7. Mindware and Moral Error

3.8. Rationalist Pessimism

3.9. After Metaethics.


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Hanno Sauer is an Assistant Professor of Ethics at the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies and a member of the Ethics Institute at Utrecht University, The Netherlands. He is the author of Moral Judgments as Educated Intuitions (2017) and Debunking Arguments in Ethics (2018).


"Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students, researchers, faculty." - S. A. Mason, CHOICE