Coase-Sandor Working Paper Series in Law and Economics

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Law & Economics Working Papers


Do moral heuristics operate in the moral domain? If so, do they lead to moral errors? This brief essay offers an affirmative answer to both questions. In so doing, it responds to an essay by Gerd Gigerenzer on the nature of heuristics, moral and otherwise. While focused on morality, the discussion bears on the general debate between those who emphasize cognitive errors, sometimes produced by heuristics, and those who emphasize the frequent success of heuristics in producing sensible judgments in the real world. General claims are that it is contentious to see moral problems as ones of arithmetic, and that arguments about moral heuristics will often do well to steer clear of contentious arguments about what morality requires.



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