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Dual Process Theories: Objections, Evidence and Significance

A brief introduction to the three topics of this lecture.

If the video isn’t working you could also watch it on youtube. Or you can view just the slides (no audio or video).

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If the slides are not working, or you prefer them full screen, please try this link. The recording is available on stream and youtube.


This week’s lecture builds on Lecture 07. Although you don’t need to understand everything in that lecture, most of this week’s lecture is about the loose reconstruction of Greene (2014)’s argument (see Greene contra Ethics (Railgun Remix)). If this were a live lecture course, I’d be starting by taking you through that argument once more.

This lecture covers three issues:

  1. Significance and Extensions (Against Reflective Equilibrium, Dual Process Theory and Auxiliary Hypotheses and Ethical Implications of the Dual Process Theory)

  2. Quick Objections to Greene’s Argument (none of them work, but perhaps you can do better)

  3. Evidence for Dual Process Theories

We will also have to consider evidence against the dual process theory of moral psychology, but that is a topic for next week.


loose reconstruction : (of an argument). A reconstruction which prioritises finding a correct argument for a significant conclusion over faithfully representing the argument being reconstructed.


Greene, J. D. (2014). Beyond Point-and-Shoot Morality: Why Cognitive (Neuro)Science Matters for Ethics. Ethics, 124(4), 695–726.