The Dual-Process Theory of Moral Judgments: A Way of Explaining Why VMPFC Patients Make More Utilitarian Judgments in Relation to Harmful Situations
Independent thesis Basic level (university diploma), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
According to Joshua Greene’s dual-process theory, our moral judgments are processed in one of two systems in the brain referred to as the emotional (quick, unconscious) and rational (slow, conscious) system. The reason for why people tend to answer differently in the footbridge dilemma compared to the trolley dilemma is because the emotional system is dominating over the rational system. Research has demonstrated that patients with ventromedial prefrontal cortex damage make more utilitarian judgments in moral dilemmas in relation to harmful situations. According to the dual-process theory, this is because the emotional system has been impaired which results in that the only working system is the rational system. The aim of this thesis is to investigate how the dual-process theory tries to explain why our moral judgments tend to differ in some moral dilemmas. This thesis will also look at how the dual-process theory tries to explain why patients with ventromedial prefrontal cortex damage make utilitarian judgments in relation to harmful situations. This thesis will sustain that the dual-process theory have gained strong empirical support, especially from the research that has been made on patients with ventromedial prefrontal cortex damage. This thesis will also argue that some modifications needs to be made on the dual-process theory in order to make it stronger.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 50 p.
VMPFC, Moral Judgments, Dual-process theory, Trolley dilemma, Footbridge dilemma
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-9423OAI: oai:DiVA.org:his-9423DiVA: diva2:723954
Subject / course
Consciousness Studies - Philosophy and Neuropsychology