Inductive Ethics: A Bottom-Up Taxonomy of the Moral Domain


Moral Foundations Theory (MFT) posits that people moralize at least six distinct kinds of virtues. These virtues are divided into “individualizing” and “binding” virtues. Despite widespread enthusiasm for MFT, it is unknown how plausible it is as a model of people’s conceptualizations of the moral domain. In this research, we take a bottom-up approach to characterizing people’s conceptualization of the moral domain, and derive a taxonomy of morality that does not resemble MFT. We find that this model more accurately reflects people’s theories of morality than does MFT.

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