Coding the moral domain

cjwinstead: “It seems that moral reasoning has features similar to mathematics. It is driven by a desire to minimize contradiction and dissonance between intuition and implication.”

Sam Harris and the Demarcation Problem

If there is a domain of morality, then a (domain-specific) language for it might be paraconsistent.

Mapping the Moral Domain
Paraconsistent Logics and Paraconsistency

From the codicalist (linguistic-pragmatist) side (on whether morality can be reduced to physics): Suppose a sufficient language for the physics domain is one that can express field (electromagnetic, quantum, relativistic, …) equations . But is a field-equation language a sufficient language for the moral domain?


Computational Morality (CM) — or (badly-named Machine Ethics — is a field in AI/CS which seems to import all types of moral theory from philosophy: It’s a pretty open and “emerging” field.

“Towards Computational Morality with Logic Programming”

The computational models, developed successfully deliver moral decisions in accordance with the double effect principle. They conform to the results of empirical experiments conducted in cognitive science and law.

“Towards Modeling Morality Computationally with Logic Programming”

Modeling such cognitive capabilities in individuals, and in populations, may well prove useful for the study and understanding of ethical robots and their emergent behavior in groups, so as to make them implementable in future robots and their swarms, and not just in the simulation domain but in the real world engineering one as well. … Moreover, we touch upon the potential of our ongoing studies of LP based cognitive features for the emergence of computational morality, in populations of agents enabled with thecapacity for intention recognition, commitment and apology.


Code for classification (how we refer to people) and conduct (how we treat people) is not bound by either biology (nature) or culture (nurture), but is written by us to be the most useful for attaining particular results.

cf. The false dichotomy of nature-nurture, with notes on feminism, transgenderism, and the construction of races


Philip Thrift


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