Deploying Human Valuesand Practicing a Knowledge

How does the system we are outlining here work in practice? We will try to answer with an example drawn from the means and manner with which we are presumed to produce moral judgments. Two main traditions are usually identified on this issue. One claims that, when we are faced with a situation, we use reasoning to detect a violation or an observance of the established norm, we use further reason-

Fig. 1. Stages and structures in the emotional process

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Fig. 1. Stages and structures in the emotional process

Fig 2. Feelings: the body-loop mechanism

ing to weigh and classify the violation or observance, and still more reasoning to pronounce a judgment and a sentence. This is the tradition identified with Kant, whose roots go back to Plato and whose modern exponent is the philosopher John Rawls. The psychologists Piaget and Kohlberg are also identified with this tradition.

Fig 3. Feelings: the as-if-body-loop mechanism

The other tradition, which is identified with David Hume and Adam Smith, claims that we react to the social situation emotionally and automatically. We instantly produce moral sentiments and intuitions that guide us towards our response to the situation. In this tradition, much of the "moral reasoning" occurs after the moral intuitions have given us a first response. This late, after-the-intu-ition reasoning often takes the form of a rationalization, the post-hoc construction of a case for a certain intuition rather than the deduction that led into it. Using Haidt's account(2002), we can say that moral intuitions are the judges but those judges are not against having attorneys construct a justification for their pronouncements. Moral reasonings, on the other hand, handle the whole judicial process. The kinder and gentler tradition of moral practice provided by moral intuition has some roots in Aristotle and, in a roundabout way, in Spinoza. Darwin and Freud were early adopters and Johathan Haidt has argued this view persuasively.

At first glance, the findings from our studies on emotion recommend a preference for this latter tradition. However, we must note that the moral intuition view does not capture human behavior comprehensively either. In effect, depending on the situations and the nature of the norm, it is apparent that approaches compatible with either tradition may be adopted with advantage. Moreover, it is likely that in most circumstances mechanisms compatible with both traditions will be called into action and that those mechanisms are interactive. The fact that social feelings include the evocation of innate and learned scripts typical of the particular social emotion probably means that moral intuitions are accompanied by a deployment of knowledge that will facilitate reasonings occurring in parallel to intuitions. Note that we are not referring here to the post-hoc reasonings that are used to justify Kantian moral judgments. Figure 4 sketches out the idea.

Fig4. Social emotions andtheir consequences

In brief, we wish to make clear that, while we believe emotions, feelings and intuitions play a critical role in our use ofhuman values, reasoning need not be excluded. It is perhaps most accurate to suggest that the balance between intuition and reasoning varies from case to case, and so does their interactivity. The role of emotions, feelings and intuitions is likely to be primary, with intuitions engaged first and reasoning following shortly thereafter. It is important, however, to avoid drawing an opposition between emotion and reasoning, and equally important not to oppose emotion to cognition. Emotions deliver ample cognitive information via feelings. We interpret the positions of Kahneman and Sunstein (2005) and Greene et al. (2001) on this issue to be similar to ours.

One final qualification pertains to the issue of the implicit knowledge covered under an intuitive process. Forceful probing for covert knowledge that does not become explicit during intuitions suggests that we may know far more than we believe we know as we reach an intuitive conclusion. The issue remains, however, that, if the knowledge is not available in consciousness during the actual unfolding of the intuitive process, it is of little or no practical use. It may also be the case that the careful and over-zealous probing for covert knowledge contributes to a partial fabrication of knowledge in a process not unlike that of post-hoc rationalization.

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