Behavioral and Brain Sciences

open peer commentary

moral heuristics and the means/end distinction

barbara h. fried a1
a1 law school, stanford university, stanford, ca 94305


a mental heuristic is a shortcut (means) to a desired end. in the moral (as opposed to factual) realm, the means/end distinction is not self-evident: how do we decide whether a given moral intuition is a mere heuristic to achieve some freestanding moral principle, or instead a freestanding moral principle in its own right? i discuss sunstein's solution to that threshold difficulty in translating “heuristics” to the moral realm.