David and Tamler continue their intermittent “classic paper series” with an episode on Jonathan Bennett’s “The Conscience of Huckleberry Finn” (published in 1974—before the reason vs. emotion debate was all cool again). Using fictional and historical examples, Bennett raises a number of questions that are central to our understanding of human morality, such as what ought to guide our behavior--human sympathy or moral beliefs? Do emotions like empathy/sympathy have judgments built into them? Are these emotions dumb? Is morality dumber? Why was Jonathan Edwards such an asshole? Plus, we talk about the implications of a poll that suggests that most Native Americans aren’t offended by the name “Redskins” for the Washington D.C. NFL team.
- New poll finds 9 in 10 Native Americans aren’t offended by Redskins name by By John Woodrow Cox, Scott Clement and Theresa Vargas [washingtonpost.com]
- Bennett, J. (1974). The conscience of Huckleberry Finn. Philosophy, 49, 123-134. [earlymoderntexts.com]
- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn [wikipedia.org]
- Heinrich Himmler [wikipedia.org]
- Jonathan Edwards [wikipedia.org]
- Pizarro, D. (2000). Nothing more than feelings?: The role of emotions in moral judgment. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, 30, 355-375. [peezer.net]