This talk has been cancelled due to strike action. It will take be rescheduled for Trinity Term, further details to follow.
Title: When is morality black and white?
Abstract: Moral cognition is often categorical, with sharp thresholds separating good and evil. However, these perceived boundaries are sometimes blurred, allowing for more graded evaluations. What determines whether moral demarcations manifest in precipitous or gradual forms? In this talk, I will solicit feedback on three new lines of research investigating this question from various angles. First, I will describe factors that influence whether moral judgments tend to be insensitive to variation in the severity of actions. Next, I will demonstrate how perceivers’ own moral values influence the stringency of their moral character attributions. Finally, I will explore children’s and adults’ openness to adjusting moral beliefs, thus providing for greater continuua of stances on particular issues. Together, these recent findings indicate ways in which moral psychology can become nuanced, suggesting possible avenues for reducing absolutism.
Booking: not required (Zoom link available on request).
In-person Venue: Oxford Uehiro Centre, Suite 1 Seminar Area, Littlegate House, 16-17 St Ebbe’s Street, Oxford OX1 1PT (buzzer 1)
Zoom option available: email email@example.com for links