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Why Culture Matters Most$
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David C. Rose

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780199330720

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199330720.001.0001

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Culture as Moral Beliefs

Culture as Moral Beliefs

(p.41) 3 Culture as Moral Beliefs
Why Culture Matters Most

David C. Rose

Oxford University Press

This chapter explains why cultural beliefs—specifically moral beliefs—are more important than cultural practices for building a high-trust society because when trust-producing moral beliefs are well ensconced, trust-producing practices naturally follow. Since it is large-group trust that is the key, our innate moral beliefs, which naturally support small-group trust, are inadequate. What is needed are invented moral beliefs that can support large-group trust and the high-trust society. Two problems must be overcome in large-group contexts: the empathy problem and the greater-good rationalization problem. This chapter explains why overcoming these problems requires that beliefs instantiate moral tastes that function prerationally. It also explains why such beliefs must stress moral restraint over moral advocacy.

Keywords:   trust, trustworthiness, rationality, golden opportunities, moral tastes, empathy problem, greater-good rationalization problem

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