Cetmons moral judgments and cognitive confusion

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  • Noel Carroll: the creature, being, or thing shown is ontologically bizarre. Monsters are monsters because they are distorted, or not right Waller & Meyers: we don’t know how to categorize the creature, being or thing. We are at an epistemic deficit. Why is he screaming? What happened to his face? What is going on with the Pope?
  • Cetmons moral judgments and cognitive confusion

    1. 1. Sara Waller Associate Professor of Philosophy Montana State University For CETMONS February 6, 2010
    2. 4. <ul><li>The brain operates, in part, with different modules </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Face recognition (prosopagnosia) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Episodic long term memory (anterograde amnesia) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Biological motion (Grossman et al., 2000)) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cognitive and affective functions can be dissociable (Moran 2006) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Positive and negative emotions activate different areas (Kim & Hamann, 2007) </li></ul></ul>
    3. 5. <ul><li>Mori suggests that that creepy feeling is an indicator that we are somehow reminded of damage, disfigurement, and death – decaying flesh, asymmetrical body parts, distorted faces signal pain, disease or decomposition. </li></ul><ul><li>Ghazanfar suggests that at least we get a signal saying “not good to mate with” </li></ul>
    4. 6. <ul><li>The feeling that recognizable friends and family members are “impostors” </li></ul><ul><li>“ It looks like my husband but it is actually someone or something else” </li></ul><ul><li>Invasion of the Body Snatchers </li></ul><ul><li>“ a higher level representation normally available to consciousness becomes unavailable in the presence of its lower level inputs” (Brothers & Ring, 1997) </li></ul>
    5. 7. <ul><li>Modules compete and deliver dissonant results </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The biological motion module fires </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>But intellectually we know it isn’t alive </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A Capgrass-Syndrome of the Living Dead </li></ul></ul><ul><li>We lose interpretive control – our modules fire before we make judgments </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We react against an emotional background of un-ease, the unheimlich, the uncanny </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Research suggests this will lead to strong, negative moral evaluations of the equipment </li></ul>
    6. 8. <ul><li>Military personnel decide to consciously regulate their emotions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Virtual reality simulations help soldiers perform well in the field </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Insect robots will elicit creepy feelings in civilians unfamiliar with it </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Could be remedied by multiple exposures paired with instances of being saved, fed, protected </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>An emotional regulation campaign could stop the public from morally condemning this equipment </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Should the public be conscious of emotional regulation campaigns? </li></ul>

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