Cleanliness is Next to Morality, Even for Philosophers

Journal of Consciousness Studies 20 (11-12), 2013

12 Pages Posted: 29 Nov 2013

See all articles by Kevin Tobia

Kevin Tobia

Georgetown University Law Center; Georgetown University - Department of Philosophy

Gretchen B. Chapman

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Stephen Stich

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Date Written: November 26, 2013

Abstract

A number of studies have shown that seemingly morally irrelevant factors influence the moral judgments of ordinary people. Some argue that philosophers are experts and are significantly less susceptible to such effects. We tested whether an unconscious cleanliness prime – the smell of Lysol – affects the judgments of both non-philosophers and professional philosophers. Our results suggest that the direction of cleanliness effects depends both on the respondent and whether the question is framed in the second or third person. They also provide evidence that cleanliness cues affect the moral judgments of both non-philosophers and philosophers, challenging the philosopher-as-expert view.

Suggested Citation

Tobia, Kevin and Chapman, Gretchen B. and Stich, Stephen, Cleanliness is Next to Morality, Even for Philosophers (November 26, 2013). Journal of Consciousness Studies 20 (11-12), 2013, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2360029

Kevin Tobia (Contact Author)

Georgetown University Law Center ( email )

600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.georgetown.edu/faculty/kevin-tobia/

Georgetown University - Department of Philosophy

37th and O Streets, N.W.
Washington, DC 20007
United States

Gretchen B. Chapman

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey ( email )

311 North 5th Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08854
United States

Stephen Stich

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey ( email )

New Brunswick, NJ 08901
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.rci.rutgers.edu/~stich/

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