Does Psychological Realism Constrain the Content of Moralities? <sup>*</sup>

David B. Wong

in Natural Moralities

Published in print August 2006 | ISBN: 9780195305395
Published online September 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199786657 | DOI:
  Does Psychological Realism Constrain the Content of Moralities?  *

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This chapter discusses a possible constraint on moralities based on psychological realism, and in particular what is realistic to expect in the way of adherence to impersonal values when most human beings strongly favor personal values such as special relationships and personal projects and commitments. A focus of the discussion is a possible constraint on the achievement of strong forms of equality. It is argued that such a constraint seems most plausible when one focuses on the strength of acquisitive and competitive motives as they appear in places such as the United States, but the existence of cultural variability in what is viewed as acceptable inequalities weighs against taking the strength of such motives for granted. A stronger case can be made for the conclusion that commitments to impersonal values are best mediated through personal values such as commitments to community.

Keywords: acquisitive; community; competitive; equality; impersonal values; personal values; psychological realism

Chapter.  8617 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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