An Analysis Of Keith Stanovich's Hypothetical Thought Theory

1040 Words5 Pages
In the study of cognitive science, there are numerous areas of study that are cumulatively relevant to understanding the both the ways in which humans think about daily issues, and the reasons behind the decisions they make when confronted with various dilemmas presented to them. One of the most benign methods of illuminating the details of these processes (and thus the underlying morality behind them) is the hypothetical thought experiment. One of these is the trolley problem. It contains two scenarios that state: 1) A runaway trolley is barreling down the railway tracks. Ahead, on the tracks, there are five people totally unaware of the impending danger, as the trolley is on a collision course with them. You are in the train yard control…show more content…
His model, called TASS (The Autonomous Set of Systems) has been “installed” (like software onto the hardware of the brain) by the replicators, or genes. He postulates that the genes only purpose is to replicate themselves and that the human body is simply a vehicle or “robot” that has only the service of this genetic goal as its reason for existence. As such, it follows that trolley problem participants’ reluctance/aversion to take the life of another is a direct result of the negative affect that it would cause: self-preservation could be affected by imprisonment (and therefore negate replication), as well as the weight calculation of losing five people versus losing one, in this grand genetic replication equation. Our genes will choose not only what is best for our genetic replication, but also what is good for human genetic replication as a…show more content…
As Davies states in his lecture on morality, we have not evolved these types of cognitive mechanisms that require “lever pulling”, rather our cognitive processes evolved around more survivalist goals (as opposed to considerations of good and evil) and allows that greater good sacrifices be rationalized more easily. Dual-process theories put forth the idea that although these kinds of situations can lead to the replicator genetics taking prominence in the decision-making process, humans also have the utilitarian, rational thought, and altruism of mind on the other side of this

More about An Analysis Of Keith Stanovich's Hypothetical Thought Theory

Open Document