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Moral BrainsThe Neuroscience of Morality$
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S. Matthew Liao

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199357666

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199357666.001.0001

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Are Intuitions Heuristics?

Are Intuitions Heuristics?

(p.312) 13. Are Intuitions Heuristics?
Moral Brains

S. Matthew Liao

Oxford University Press

Many philosophers appeal to intuitions as evidence for the truth of philosophical claims. However, what, if anything, gives intuitions their evidentiary status? In recent years, it has become commonplace for psychologists, philosophers, and neuroscientists to equate intuitions with heuristics, that is, some kind of mental rules of thumb. A number of those who have accepted this claim have then questioned the evidentiary status of intuitions by pointing to the inaccuracies of heuristics (Kahneman and Tversky; Sunstein; Greene). In response, some accept that intuitions are heuristics but try to show that heuristics can be fairly accurate in certain circumstances (Gigerenzer). This chapter takes different tack and argues that intuitions are not heuristics. It then explores the implications of this for ongoing research in psychology, philosophy, and neuroscience.

Keywords:   moral judgment, heuristic, intuition, reliability, dual process, bias, Joshua Greene, Cass Sunstein, Gerd Gigerenzer, Daniel Kahneman

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