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Moral Intuition: Its Neural Substrates and Normative Significance James Woodward
 

Summary: 1
Moral Intuition: Its Neural Substrates and Normative Significance
James Woodward
Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences, 101-40
Corresponding Author: John Allman
Division of Biology, 216-76
California Institute of Technology
1200 E California Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91125, USA
Abstract
Philosophers use the phrase "moral intuition" to describe the appearance in consciousness
of moral judgments or assessments without any awareness of having gone through a
conscious reasoning process that produces this assessment. This paper investigates the
neural substrates of moral intuition. We propose that moral intuitions are part of a larger
set of social intuitions that guide us through complex, highly uncertain and rapidly
changing social interactions. Such intuitions are shaped by learning. The neural substrates
for moral intuition include fronto-insular, cingulate, and orbito-frontal cortices and
associated subcortical structure such as the septum, basil ganglia and amygdala.
Understanding the role of these structures undercuts many philosophical doctrines
concerning the status of moral intuitions, but vindicates the claim that they can

  

Source: Allman, John M. - Division of Biology, California Institute of Technology

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine