Saturday, 6 July 2013

Moral Foundations Index

A week or so back I took the Moral Foundations quiz. (I took about half of the quizzes available at this website.) These were my scores:

harm and care - 3.8
fairness and reciprocity - 3
loyalty - 1.8
authority and respect - 1.5
purity and sanctity - 1.3

The order given is fixed; the quiz did not automatically rank them. It is a coincidence that my ranking corresponded to the established order. As far as the rankings go, I am unsurprised.

I rather like this construct because it corresponds with something I had been working with already (I know, I know, that's confirmatin bias): moral action has more to do with particular values, perhaps even personality, than with moral philosophical systems like deontology or utilitarianism. But I think the quiz, in its particular manifestation, has a few problems that I want to wiggle around a bit. I'll do this in a series of shorter posts to break it up.

I. The Polonius Virtue, or, Are These All the Foundations They Could Think of?
In which I suggest that freedom and authenticity might also be moral foundations and discuss the latter at length.
II. Unnatural Acts and Unnatural Ingredients, or, What Kind of Pure?
In which I think about the roles disgust and nature might play in not-so-conservative discourse.
III. Building Your (Axiological) Foundations on Sand, or, Are These Really the Foundations After All?
In which I think about how well these foundations work like they're supposed to, or like I think they're supposed to.
IV. Purity Disgusts Me, or, Are My Results the Right Ones?
In which I wonder whether there's any merit to valuing all of the Moral Foundations rather than concentrating on a few.
V. The Morality of Aliens, Dragons, and Dead Philosophers, or, Disorganized Thoughts on Moral Foundations Theory
In which I think about moral intuition, math, orange and blue moralities, and Dungeons and Dragons moral alignments charts.
VI. Postlude: Eternal Consequences, or, What Kind of Harm?
In which I think about harm/care and purity/sanctity in consequentialist and virtue ethical terms, and in light of typical Christian ideas about salvation.

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