Rethinking Commonsense Conceptual Frameworks

Nada Gligorov

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Debates about the ethical implications of advancements in neuroscience often include estimates of how such developments will affect commonsense morality. These predictions rely on a putative clash between commonsense morality and neuroscientific discoveries. In this chapter, I argue that commonsense morality is an empirically evaluable theory, which can be circumscribed in the same way as commonsense psychology—using Lewis’s method of collecting quotidian platitudes. I maintain, however, that if one were to utilize this method of collecting platitudes about morality, such a collection will represent only current commonsense morality. Commonsense morality specific to a particular time and cultural context cannot support unqualified claims that commonsense moral concepts as such are incompatible with scientific discoveries that pertain to the moral domain. Similarly, because general arguments about the character of commonsense concepts cannot be buttressed using these limited samples, commonsense moral concepts should not be used to set immutable boundaries for the development of new theories and conceptual frameworks.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStudies in Brain and Mind
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media B.V.
Number of pages20
StatePublished - 2016

Publication series

NameStudies in Brain and Mind
ISSN (Print)1573-4536
ISSN (Electronic)2468-399X


  • Commonsense View
  • Folk Psychology
  • Human Psychology
  • Mental Term
  • Moral Concept


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