Moral philosophy has often accused moral psychology of making the naturalistic fallacy, confusing is with ought. But what about the opposite direction, confusing ought with is? Here, Chelsea Schein and I suggest that neither deontology nor utilitarianism accurately represent moral cognition because each argues for the separation of acts and consequences.
We argue that acts and consequences are--psychologically--not only inextricably bound together, but are also often compatible and mutually reinforcing. Just as we cannot help but see the suffering baby when viewing the venomous snake, we cannot help but see bad consequences arising from immoral acts. This means that paradigms that artificially separate acts and consequences or make them conflict (i.e., trolley problems) may not reveal general truths about moral cognition. Read more in our paper in Review of Philosophy and Psychology, co-edited by the fabulous Mark Phelan and Adam Waytz.
p.s. the “pedophilic princes” comes from the thought experiment in our introduction.