I'm on half-holidays this week - my boyfriend is required(ish) to go to Miami for a continuing medical education conference, and I've tagged along. Since he's at lectures half the day, I'm also working half the day, but the rest of the time it's all palm trees and beaches and mangroves and alligators! At least, … Continue reading Holiday, Recommendation
In an earlier post, I suggested that one way moral psychologists treat war, is as "just another context" within which our regular moral processes and preferences unfold. This treatment is rarely explicit, it just shows up as a random war-based scenario among a bunch of other scenarios, used to test a particular theory about moral … Continue reading Other Versions of the Relationship between War and Moral Psychology
Remember that Big War Study I've mentioned a couple of times? No? Well never mind; I'm going to tell you about (one of the studies in) it now! In the first few studies, we'd given participants a war with a "just" side and an "unjust" side*, and asked them to make judgments about soldiers fighting … Continue reading The All Encompassing Figure
Jonathan Phillips and Fiery Cushman recently published a paper in PNAS: Morality constrains the default representation of what is possible. The title of Jonathan's accompanying Aeon article is somewhat more evocative: 'But you can't do that!' Why immoral actions seem impossible. This article (go read it now!) fits neatly in with (what I think of … Continue reading All’s Fair?
I've been talking in my previous posts, and in my academic writing, about (potential) differences between peace and war and the moral judgments we (therefore) make in those two contexts. But what do I mean when I say "in war", or "the war context"? The dictionary definition of war is pretty straightforward. Mirriam-Webster writes that … Continue reading I Should Probably Define ‘War’
Here's the second thing (here's the first thing) I thought about on my way to Boston: "Research is me-search." Interpretations of this phrase probably vary, but I've usually thought that in my case, it wouldn't really apply: I have such limited personal connections to war. But then again, sometimes I "me-search" in the sense that … Continue reading Mesearch
Almost exactly a year ago, I was on my way to Boston to visit my friend Rachel. Now , I am on my way to Boston again, visiting Rachel again but also attending a workshop on structural equation modeling. Last year when I visited Rachel, we talked a lot about research. She was a year … Continue reading Review
One of my early motivations for studying the morality of war in contrast to the morality of peace (or, "everyday morality") was that war has been around for a long time , and has long been tied to intragroup cooperation . So, to the extent that we have reliable intuitions about harm in general, I … Continue reading Changing Times, Changing Minds
“But that would be the easy part!” We were on holidays in California, and Ivan’s friend was talking about the different paths he might take to arrive as An Author, having written A Book. “I could drop everything, drink up all my money, and live like a tramp for a year - but that would … Continue reading Easy.
Eventually, these posts will get around to summarizing my own research, in which I've compared moral judgments made in war to those made in peace. But for now, let's think about other, less academic and perhaps more thought-provoking, evidence about the distinction between war and peace. Exhibit A: This protester seems to be trying to … Continue reading War Is/Not Peace