Examples Of Morality And Empiricism

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Morality is a key element in life, it is what we use to morally evaluate ourselves and others. It is a system of behaviour in regard to standards of right or wrong behaviour. It is essentially, what governs our actions and moral evaluation. In this essay, I will be discussing the two key positions of, Empiricism and Nativism, and I will be arguing that morality, in support of empiricism, is not innate, but instead, gained through experience. An empiricist takes the position that, nothing, including morality and moral knowledge, is innate. Instead, it is possessed through experiences and scientific fact. David Hume is famously an empiricist, who strongly believed moral concepts, such as good and bad, were grounded in experience. When we…show more content…
For example, we innately know that something such as murder, is morally wrong. The way we respond to specific stimuli, is an element to out innate endowment. This particular aspect of nativism can be supported by the Theory of Evolution, in other words, emotional responses are adaptations that have been crafted by natural selection which is then passed on through the generations by genetics. Other elements of nativism can be supported by psychology, for instance, developmental psychologists, Elizabeth Spelke and Noam Chomsky both are in support of innate knowledge and morality, and explain so through their research. Spelke argues that we have an innate knowledge of inanimate physical objects, she finds that children make specific kinds of assumptions about the nature of objects, that cannot simply have been learned from experience, due to their age. And Chomsky, who famously argues that we have innate knowledge of some aspects of language. There are two main arguments presented by nativist claims, and these are the Poverty of Stimuli, and Universality. Firstly, Poverty of Stimuli, presented by Paul Bloom, illustrates how a child may display certain knowledge at an early age, before they could have rich enough experience to learn that knowledge, this is supported by Spelke’s research and…show more content…
This issue that Haidt emphasizes is that most of the research in support of nativism, is mostly carried out by and on people whose moral outlook can be considered W.E.I.R.D. (western, educated, industrial, rich and democratic), this is a moral outlook which is not necessarily shared by many people across the world. An example illustrating this is the responses to one of Hadith’s stories. This one being the man that has sex with a chicken that he bought from the supermarket. Haidt’s findings were, that middle-class people tend to not think it so immoral as those who have a working-class background. Suggesting, that cultural factors shape an individual’s moral outlook, and so it is not innate. This implication is presented by Print to the existence of moral

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