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The scientific challenge to rational ethics

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In 1739 the philosopher David Hume wrote that "reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them." Hume disagreed with philosophers who aspired to reason their way to moral truth without examining human nature. An honest inquiry, he argued, reveals that reason is biased and weak while intuition propels our moral lives.

Haidt and his colleagues brought Hume into the laboratory by investigating how people react to harmless but disgusting stories that pit reason against intuition.

...

In 2001, Haidt chambered a bullet at rationalism in a classic paper that tied together moral dumbfounding, philosophy, and recent psychology findings on human judgment, while also bringing in anthropology and primatology. His conclusion: "Most of the action in moral psychology" is in our automatic intuitions. "People do indeed reason, but that reasoning is done primarily to prepare for social interaction, not to search for truth."

This was no small claim: We're deluded about how we derive right from wrong. Largely thanks to Haidt, a neglected field "all of a sudden exploded," says David A. Pizarro, associate professor of psychology at Cornell. He wrote a critique with Bloom, who admires Haidt but has continued to disagree with him on this point in the decade since. The problem, Bloom tells me, is that social psychologists overlook the tons of moral reasoning that people do in daily life. Morality fascinates, and not in some unconscious way. They read advice columns. Visit priests. Argue.

http://chronicle.com...des-the/130453/

I found this article interesting for a number of reasons. Among them that Haidt is probably correct in his observations but wrong in his conclusions. People do, overwhelmingly, rely on intuition not only in moral decisions but also in most very decision in their lives. It does not follow that they should.

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What are the other reasons? You'd be preaching to the choir here that certain people make moral decisions with the help of emotion more than reason. I certainly think Haidt's research can explain a lot about how some cultures come to judge certain actions as immoral.

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I've been reading a book I got for Christmas from Mrs. Cortes: Thinking Fast and Slow by Nobel prize winner Dan Kahneman.

http://www.amazon.com/Thinking-Fast-Slow-Daniel-Kahneman/dp/0374275637

He makes the somewhat unremarkable claim that people have and use essentially two types of thinking: 1) intuitive, which is fast and easy but very unreliable, and 2) deliberate, which is slow and almost literally painful. The word "reason" is so abused that I hesitate to use it but what Objectivists mean by reason is pretty much type 2 thinking. People will rely on their intuition even to do numeric calculations or simply never bother to do simple tests of their intuitive conclusions. (The obvious benefit of the first type of thinking its that it can save you from predator attacks.)

So we should not be surprised that people rely on intuition for moral reasoning. But Haidt takes what is a pretty straightforward observation, that people are lazy about thinking, and turns it into a moral argument for not thinking about morality and for dismissing the conclusions of those who do think about morality.

It also fails to take account of how something might come to be intuitively regarded as immoral. Hayek argued in The Fatal Conceit that moral tradition is an accumulation of social experience. We are disgusted by poo because people who play with their poo tend to get sick and die.

And, yet, we cannot escape our own subjective experience as Brandon argued in The Art of Living Consciously. To attempt to do so is to deny reality.

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People's "intuitions" aren't basless. What I find strange about irrationalists is that their treatment of emotional responses is so mystical. Hume was writing as though desires had no precedent in earlier experience.

There may be the occasional case when someone's desires may be based in a hormonal response. This kind of stuff though is mostly important to psychiatrists who study things like puberty, pregnancy, or even the chemical factors of addiction.

However a moral responses are developed. We know that there aren't "natural" moral responses due to the variety of moral responses that have existed in cultures around the world. Some people are perfectly fine with what we feel to be morally reperehensible. I think it is reasonable to assume that people develope morals though a combination of experience, reflection and upbringing.

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I consider intuitions to be a type of emotion because they are fast and quick, while not being a conscious decision. They're not unreliable per se, but you cannot rely on intuition to make decisions. An intuition only provides a reaction, not a means to say something is true or not.

This sort of reaction can be useful when you don't have *time* to deliberate, perhaps if you lived in a warzone. Certainly, though, "moral" intuitions come about in particular ways, most often regarding an "ick" factor, a reaction which leads some people to say some behavior is immoral because they hate the feeling so much. I hesitate to call any intuition a moral intuition, since you cannot choose an intuition directly, but some people do throw such feelings into determining what is moral or not by using emotion as a means of cognition. Or it could go the other way, with a moral conclusion becoming automatized and then turned into an emotion.

I'm sure that feeling of "well, it's just WRONG" prior to any deliberation can be influenced by conscious choices, so it would be incorrect to say that all people have the same intuitions about the same actions. For instance, a lot of people say incest is just wrong, but for me, I don't have that reaction, since I've reasoned out that it's not inherently immoral, just like any relationship.

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I think you both make a number of great points. Rather than belabor our areas of agreement I'll push out into areas that are more interesting for discussion.

I don't think it's accurate to describe intuition as a type of emotion, that implies it is natural and fixed whereas, as Hairnet suggests, it is adaptable, at least to some extent. Intuition does not spring fully formed at birth, though certainly there are biological influences. Rather, it develops over time. The classic example, which Kahneman explores in a chapter, is Gary Klein made a career of studying the intuition of experts (http://www.amazon.com/Power-Intuition-Feelings-Better-Decisions/dp/0385502893), mainly by studying firefighters. What Klein found was that after a lot of experience, firefighters develop an intuitive sense of how to fight fires.

But notice what is required: experience. We might trust the moral intuitions of a wise man who has experienced moral choices and their consequences but that is not what Haidt is claiming.

Now mystery is an interesting subject. People often mean different things by the word but the simplest meaning of mystery is the unknown. Given the finite boundaries of knowledge there will always exist mystery in this sense. Mystery is whatever lies on the other side of that boundary. Mystery permeates our existence because we are not omniscient.

And there are key mysteries that we encounter, among these I would cite free will and our subjective experience which is greatly influenced by emotions. People have different levels of comfort with mystery and we all seek to explain the unknown even if it is only by guessing. The problem is that we often exaggerate our confidence in those guesses in order to alleviate our discomfort with mystery. How often do you really seek out discomfirming evidence as you know you should?

And we similarly have that old exercise of asking "why" for any choice or "how do we know that" for any piece of knowledge. Sooner or later we arrive at a point where we don't have a good answer.

I like Brandon's treatment of emotion as a reality of life. We are emotional as well as reasoning creatures. We can speculate about the evolutionary origins of emotions reduce emotions to various objectively observable elements (e.g. chemistry), but at the end of the day we are still left with our subjective experience of them. Brandon rightly observes that we can't flourish by ignoring our emotions.

Thus, even if we reject Haidt's lazy theory of morality, emotions are an undeniable influence on our moral reasoning.

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How is any emotion not adaptable? There is no one universal emotional reaction, and even on a personal level, you probably have a changing emotional reaction to a variety of values over time. Intuition does operate like an emotion, and I have no reason to say it isn't a type of emotion. A "gut feeling" is often informative, but it's closer to an instant summary of some thing than merely a feeling. Any emotion is like that, and influenced by knowledge you possess, albeit unconsciously. Qualitatively, how is intuition any different than a feeling like anger? You don't decide to feel anger, nor do you decide to feel an intuition.

Perhaps you'd say that intuition takes a longer time to develop than most emotions, and I'd agree. Other emotions work like that, happiness and depression especially. But you can't say "develops over time" is a reason to say intuition is not an emotion.

Edited by Eiuol

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How is any emotion not adaptable? There is no one universal emotional reaction, and even on a personal level, you probably have a changing emotional reaction to a variety of values over time.

Perhaps this is merely a matter of semantics but the term "emotion" is usually applied to basic feelings. One certainly has influence over how one reacts to emotion but that is not the same as adapting the emotion itself. It is possible to influence emotions, as for example by what one chooses to think about, but for the most part, emotions occur at a much lower level than cognition.

Intuition does operate like an emotion, and I have no reason to say it isn't a type of emotion. A "gut feeling" is often informative, but it's closer to an instant summary of some thing than merely a feeling. Any emotion is like that, and influenced by knowledge you possess, albeit unconsciously. Qualitatively, how is intuition any different than a feeling like anger? You don't decide to feel anger, nor do you decide to feel an intuition.

Intuition, on the other hand, is clearly much more malleable and adaptable. If we say intuition is simply that which we think without effort, then clearly it includes emotions but it is more than mere emotion.

For example, in self defense training we often speak of "muscle memory", which, of course, is not literally memory by the muscles but is simply a trained reaction. Someone so trained can react with little or no thought in a way that he was trained.

Perhaps you'd say that intuition takes a longer time to develop than most emotions, and I'd agree. Other emotions work like that, happiness and depression especially. But you can't say "develops over time" is a reason to say intuition is not an emotion.

Well, I think this gets to the difference between them. Emotions are pretty natural, developed, one might say, by the slow process of evolution. Intuition, on the other hand, is probably best understood as effortless thinking.

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Hernan, have you familiarized yourself with the Objectivist view of emotion? I recommend following the link and reading the whole thing to get the complete argument, but the relevant point is the third paragraph:

Man is born with an emotional mechanism, just as he is born with a cognitive mechanism; but, at birth, both are “tabula rasa.” It is man’s cognitive faculty, his mind, that determines the content of both. Man’s emotional mechanism is like an electronic computer, which his mind has to program—and the programming consists of the values his mind chooses.

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With something like perception and conception we have an idea that the key difference is automation. We know that there is a mind, and entity, that takes input and decides what to do with it and turns it into output. With this we develop the majority of what makes us different. What is strange is that not only do we have input and output, we also have the ability to make our output into what would appear to be input if we didn't know any better.

A man observes something, he decides to think about it a certain way, pretty soon that premise is rooted in his subconcious. This can happen to the point where it seems as though he no longer has to think it all in order to apply the concept. The concept may be something mundane such as a method for chopping onions. Where a man must clumsily learn to do this conciously with observation, trial and error, and maybe even lingual instruction.

After enough practice, seeing all the "ins and outs" of his prefered method for cutting onions, he will be able to cut them without even thinking about it. It may even be hard for him to explain what it is he is doing or for him to understand how it is he does that. This is the case with a lot of ideas, to the point where the higher abstractions that affect our evaluations, that can not just be disproven by immediate experience, will be learned, integrated, and then be turned into what seems to be absolute truth. People may not be able to explain why they believe something, or how it is they came to believe it. However to them, these feellings and intutions are as real to them as everything they hear and see.

Attempting to examin the concept will be just as hard, and much more emotionaly painful, than learning to a complicated skill such as cutting onions quickly, driving a car, or playing tennis, sewing, cpr, or playing tennis. Just like relearning something that you have been doing sloppily or incorrectly can seem even more difficult than learning it the first time.

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Hernan, have you familiarized yourself with the Objectivist view of emotion? I recommend following the link and reading the whole thing to get the complete argument, but the relevant point is the third paragraph:

Ok, I don't recall ever reading that before (it's been a while since I read Rand), but clearly, then, we have an issue of semantics because the definition of emotion contained there does include intuition as emotion. Words are just symbols, what is important for our discussion here is that intuition is not as firmly fixed as more basic emotions. Lumping the emotion of "I am sad" with the intuition of "we need ten weeks to complete this project" seems needlessly confusing.

(The article also rests on the tabula rasa view of human nature which is another related subject.)

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After enough practice, seeing all the "ins and outs" of his prefered method for cutting onions, he will be able to cut them without even thinking about it. It may even be hard for him to explain what it is he is doing or for him to understand how it is he does that. This is the case with a lot of ideas, to the point where the higher abstractions that affect our evaluations, that can not just be disproven by immediate experience, will be learned, integrated, and then be turned into what seems to be absolute truth. People may not be able to explain why they believe something, or how it is they came to believe it. However to them, these feellings and intutions are as real to them as everything they hear and see.

This is exactly where things get interesting.

The first thing to note is that people are naturally lazy and so we all have a bias towards our intuitive response since it is easier. We thus tend to overestimate our own expertise.

How do you know when you've "had enough practice"? How do you know when to trust the expertise of another? Clearly there are some people (the above firefighter example) who are, indeed, capable of making seemingly complex decisions by intuition after enough experience. But you've probably also met plenty of people claiming expertise that they lack and seen detailed predictions utterly fail to be realized. One need look no further than the oped pages of any newspaper or listen any Sunday morning to the talking poobas.

Edited by hernan

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"Intuition, on the other hand, is clearly much more malleable and adaptable. If we say intuition is simply that which we think without effort, then clearly it includes emotions but it is more than mere emotion."

I'm afraid I don't know what you mean by malleable and adaptable, then. I dispute you saying that emotion falls under "that which we think without effort" since emotion isn't a form of thinking, but precisely a feeling, in addition to being a reaction. Words describe it, but the content of an emotion is without words. I'm saying that intuitions are without words but because they're involved most often with a reaction to what's correct, they're the easiest emotion to put words on. I can feel an intuition that a statue looks wrong, but putting that into words makes it a thought about intuition.

There is another sense of intuition, though, that may be causing issue here. I can say "intuitively, to solve this puzzle, I need to put the block here", which is a thought and not an emotion in the least. However, it's a basic thought that didn't precede a thought I'm aware of, nor does it logically follow from a previous thought. What I'm suggesting is that intuition is the feeling that leads you to take an initial stab at solving a problem. I see no reason to call my puzzle solving sentence an intuition, though, since it's a thought like any other.

The lexicon link to the section on emotion does mention emotion as a feeling (emotional intensity as part of forming the concept, to be specific), so it would not include a snap judgement that you need 10 weeks to complete a project.

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"Intuition, on the other hand, is clearly much more malleable and adaptable. If we say intuition is simply that which we think without effort, then clearly it includes emotions but it is more than mere emotion."

I'm afraid I don't know what you mean by malleable and adaptable, then. I dispute you saying that emotion falls under "that which we think without effort" since emotion isn't a form of thinking, but precisely a feeling, in addition to being a reaction. Words describe it, but the content of an emotion is without words. I'm saying that intuitions are without words but because they're involved most often with a reaction to what's correct, they're the easiest emotion to put words on. I can feel an intuition that a statue looks wrong, but putting that into words makes it a thought about intuition.

I think I understand what you mean here and I think we are not disagreeing on the nature of emotion. (What is "thinking"? Is it any brain activity, including the amygdala or only that which occurs in the neo-cortex?)

But to answer your question, intuition such as "that statue looks wrong" is learned. An art expert may look at a statue and judge whether or not it is authentic or a forgery. He goes by his "gut". But we would be fools to trust the gut feelings of a non-expert on the question. The expert has learned something that he expresses in this non-verbal way.

There is another sense of intuition, though, that may be causing issue here. I can say "intuitively, to solve this puzzle, I need to put the block here", which is a thought and not an emotion in the least. However, it's a basic thought that didn't precede a thought I'm aware of, nor does it logically follow from a previous thought. What I'm suggesting is that intuition is the feeling that leads you to take an initial stab at solving a problem. I see no reason to call my puzzle solving sentence an intuition, though, since it's a thought like any other.

The lexicon link to the section on emotion does mention emotion as a feeling (emotional intensity as part of forming the concept, to be specific), so it would not include a snap judgement that you need 10 weeks to complete a project.

Let's distinguish what we think intuition is from how we might use it. I agree with your distinction of intuition and emotion and your distinction of intuition from more formal and verbal cognition. (Three concepts that we had previously been trying to force into two categories.)

It's worth noting, however, that some people do not take intuition as an initial stab but as the answer. That is exactly what is occurring in Haidt's theory of morality. He is claiming that reasoning about morality is so much gobbledygook. (We see it also in other examples such as a CEO who makes a snap decision or an investor who makes a trade on his gut. And, of course, we see it in situations that really do require quick thinking such as fighting a fire or self defense.)

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Hernan, have you read about his social intuitionist model of moral judgment? (You can read about it here: http://www.nd.edu/~wcarbona/Haidt%202001.pdf) That gets into more particulars about what he believes intuitions are, and how people often use them. For the most part, Haidt isn't making any explicit moral claims. If you aren't familiar with the model, I'll explain it:

(1) An eliciting situation (like being asked if incest between two consenting siblings is moral) brings about an intuition. (2) The intuition produces a judgment, absent any deliberate reasoning. (3) The individual justifies the intuition like a lawyer defending a client, which Haidt labels ex post facto reasoning. In other words, Haidt is saying that reasoning does not produce judgments, only justifications after the fact. From here, (4) your reasoning affects the intuitions of others. He also gives some caveats that reasoning (private deliberation) can alter intuitions, but only someone with the level of expertise as a philosopher can do this. Also heavy reflection may affect judgments.

But I don't think Haidt explains well enough what allows private deliberation to work at all, which if evaluated further, may weaken Haidt's claims, making his model closer to how people often don't think about how an intuition originated. Post #10 by Hairnet is a good explanation of how I suspect intuitions originate (I was thinking about posting my explanation, but Hairnet covered it all). Perhaps we can rely on intuitions for some decisions, provided our prior reasoning is good. In some sense, intuitions are just automatizations of knowledge. If your knowledge is wrong, your intuition will always be wrong. When to trust an intuition is a good question, but really that has to do with knowing when to suspect you need to reject old ideas, or expand current ones.

By the way, since reading more and discussing Haidt a lot in my philosophy class, I've taken the viewpoint that intuitions are not emotions. Intuitions have a relationship between emotion and reason, but is itself a unique process that is different from both.

Edited by Eiuol

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Hernan, have you read about his social intuitionist model of moral judgment? (You can read about it here: http://www.nd.edu/~wcarbona/Haidt%202001.pdf) That gets into more particulars about what he believes intuitions are, and how people often use them. For the most part, Haidt isn't making any explicit moral claims.

I have read a couple articles about him but not directly his work, I will read the above pdf.

However, I think we must be careful about how we view his work. It may well be true that he is making no "explicit moral claims", but it seemed pretty clear from the articles I read about him that he was making a claim about moral claims, i.e. that they are no more than intuition and that there is no role for higher reason other than to justify intuiton ( your #3 below.) or for regarding any intuitively derived moral claim as more valid than another. I will read his own article and see if that interpretation of his work is true or not.

If you are interested in this, however, I strongly urge you to read Thinking, Fast and Slow by Kahneman. I think Kahneman puts Haidt in context, namely, that Haidt's observations of how people moralize is generally true but that the exceptions are more interesting than the rule. Objectivism largely operates in this exceptional space in which people at least try to reason about morality beyond relying on intuition.

If you aren't familiar with the model, I'll explain it: (1) An eliciting situation (like being asked if incest between two consenting siblings is moral) brings about an intuition. (2) The intuition produces a judgment, absent any deliberate reasoning. (3) The individual justifies the intuition like a lawyer defending a client, which Haidt labels ex post facto reasoning. In other words, Haidt is saying that reasoning does not produce judgments, only justifications after the fact. From here, (4) your reasoning affects the intuitions of others. He also gives some caveats that reasoning (private deliberation) can alter intuitions, but only someone with the level of expertise as a philosopher can do this. Also heavy reflection may affect judgments. But I don't think Haidt explains well enough what allows private deliberation to work at all, which if evaluated further, may weaken Haidt's claims, making his model closer to how people often don't think about how an intuition originated. Post #10 by Hairnet is a good explanation of how I suspect intuitions originate (I was thinking about posting my explanation, but Hairnet covered it all). Perhaps we can rely on intuitions for some decisions, provided our prior reasoning is good. In some sense, intuitions are just automatizations of knowledge. If your knowledge is wrong, your intuition will always be wrong. When to trust an intuition is a good question, but really that has to do with knowing when to suspect you need to reject old ideas, or expand current ones. By the way, since reading more and discussing Haidt a lot in my philosophy class, I've taken the viewpoint that intuitions are not emotions. Intuitions have a relationship between emotion and reason, but is itself a unique process that is different from both.

So I have no great difference with Haidt as an observation of how people generally moralize, though I think Kahnman better explains why, but it's worth spending a moment on the bolded sentence above, and as you yourself seem to recognize when you say "people often don't think about how an intuition originated". This is, I think, a key issue and here Haidt is dead wrong in his assertion that "only someone with the level of expertise as a philosopher can do this". In fact, this is nothing more than habit formation applied to moral views. In general, we are training our intuiton all the time in a myriad of ways (inclding, but limited to, previous deliberative thinking) and there is no reason to think that expertise as a philosopher is a necessary prerequisite to this. In fact, this is a key element of Catholic teaching, what is called "formation of conscience," which is the basis of moral instruction. This is in the direction of, but not the same as, Rand's concept of the human intellect as a blank slate.

In short, if Rand overestimates the role of reason in moral judgement, Haidt underestimates it or, to be more precise, underestimtes the potential for it.

The interesting question to consider is whether those who take a more deliberative approach to moral reasoning have any advantage over those who rely on their intuitions. I strongly suspect so.

Edited by hernan

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If people "train" their intuitions, which I agree is possible if we speak of them in terms of automization, then there is no use calling reasoning an "exceptional space". There is something to be said of what Haidt says is ex post facto reasoning, and I say it's that such reasoning is deductive, meaning that by its nature, will not provide new knowledge. Deduction isn't supposed to do anything other than justify what you already know. If I deduce that Socrates is mortal, I take for granted that I already know Socrates is human. I don't need to reason out every time I think about that syllogism that Socrates is human. When it comes to acquiring new knowledge, though, only induction is capable of that. This is the space where reasoning creates a new intuition eventually, and reasoning can also indicate where in your previous conclusions that you've made a fallacious conclusion.

I don't think Rand overestimates the role of reason in moral judgment, given that she does emphasize automatization in various contexts, especially with sense of life in art. She never tried to explain it like "you grab your premises, reason out to a conclusion, then judge if you like the painting." Intuition still fits under a subconscious process *like* emotion, so in this sense, conscious choices produce your intuition, and because of this relation, should *not* be ignored/evaded/supressed. Haidt for the most part talks about what intuitions do, not how they're made. I suspect some people don't consider or realize that intuitions are representations of existing knowledge (well, it's my hypothesis that intuitions are representations of existing knowledge).

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If people "train" their intuitions, which I agree is possible if we speak of them in terms of automization, then there is no use calling reasoning an "exceptional space". There is something to be said of what Haidt says is ex post facto reasoning, and I say it's that such reasoning is deductive, meaning that by its nature, will not provide new knowledge. Deduction isn't supposed to do anything other than justify what you already know. If I deduce that Socrates is mortal, I take for granted that I already know Socrates is human. I don't need to reason out every time I think about that syllogism that Socrates is human. When it comes to acquiring new knowledge, though, only induction is capable of that. This is the space where reasoning creates a new intuition eventually, and reasoning can also indicate where in your previous conclusions that you've made a fallacious conclusion.

You need to be careful about equating deliberative reasoning with deduction. Deducation is certainly the most formal form of reasoning but in many ways it is the least interesting precisely because, as you say, it will not provide new knowledge. Indution is probably the best example of an alternative but, in fact, human reason is quite compliated and mysterious, especially when you dive into the more creative, subjective, and willful aspects. So I would suggest rethinking the above in view of that.

I don't think Rand overestimates the role of reason in moral judgment, given that she does emphasize automatization in various contexts, especially with sense of life in art. She never tried to explain it like "you grab your premises, reason out to a conclusion, then judge if you like the painting." Intuition still fits under a subconscious process *like* emotion, so in this sense, conscious choices produce your intuition, and because of this relation, should *not* be ignored/evaded/supressed. Haidt for the most part talks about what intuitions do, not how they're made. I suspect some people don't consider or realize that intuitions are representations of existing knowledge (well, it's my hypothesis that intuitions are representations of existing knowledge).

I think we're mostly in agreement here. I was being perhaps to simplistic in posing Rand and Haidt as personifications of opposite ends of a pole but there is a real sense in which formation of conscience is a complicated matter not easily reduced to either formal reasoning or gut intuition.

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I only mean to suggest that what Haidt labeled "ex post facto" reasoning is deductive and delibertive, and in no sense inductive. In other words, ex post facto reasoning is deductive because it's only grabbing already known information to explain what the intuition is based on. Ex post facto reasoning in the context of justifying intuitions is still important because it will indicate what premises you do have. However, only with induction can you create a new intuition through "training". Induction allows for new knowledge, and is deliberative.

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I only mean to suggest that what Haidt labeled "ex post facto" reasoning is deductive and delibertive, and in no sense inductive. In other words, ex post facto reasoning is deductive because it's only grabbing already known information to explain what the intuition is based on. Ex post facto reasoning in the context of justifying intuitions is still important because it will indicate what premises you do have. However, only with induction can you create a new intuition through "training". Induction allows for new knowledge, and is deliberative.

I see, ok. BTW, that is not a new idea, it has often been used in discussing sales, namely that customers make an intuitive decision to buy or not and then develop reasons to justify that decision. It's a perfectly appropriate and useful generalization of human behavior.

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If people "train" their intuitions, which I agree is possible if we speak of them in terms of automization, then there is no use calling reasoning an "exceptional space". There is something to be said of what Haidt says is ex post facto reasoning, and I say it's that such reasoning is deductive, meaning that by its nature, will not provide new knowledge. Deduction isn't supposed to do anything other than justify what you already know. If I deduce that Socrates is mortal, I take for granted that I already know Socrates is human. I don't need to reason out every time I think about that syllogism that Socrates is human. When it comes to acquiring new knowledge, though, only induction is capable of that. This is the space where reasoning creates a new intuition eventually, and reasoning can also indicate where in your previous conclusions that you've made a fallacious conclusion.

I don't think Rand overestimates the role of reason in moral judgment, given that she does emphasize automatization in various contexts, especially with sense of life in art. She never tried to explain it like "you grab your premises, reason out to a conclusion, then judge if you like the painting." Intuition still fits under a subconscious process *like* emotion, so in this sense, conscious choices produce your intuition, and because of this relation, should *not* be ignored/evaded/supressed. Haidt for the most part talks about what intuitions do, not how they're made. I suspect some people don't consider or realize that intuitions are representations of existing knowledge (well, it's my hypothesis that intuitions are representations of existing knowledge).

 

Do you still ascribe to this hypothesis? 

 

My view is the same as the one Hobbes mentioned in his 1651 book, that intuition is normal thought speeded up rather than abnormal or distinctly different alien thought of some distinct sort. It is merely faster, that is all. As any Chess player knows, the more time we have to think, the less likely we are to err. That is why we play Chess by the clock. Almost anyone will play way better if allowed to take as much time as they need over making a move in Chess. But we do not thereby use a different sort of thought when we think things over slowly.

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Yes. Most people do backwards rationalize their moral intuitions to justify them to themselves. That does not mean that that is the only way to do it. That does not mean that that is what morality really is. That does not mean that there are no moral facts.

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