Abstract: This essay celebrates Leonard Riskin's call to arms while suggesting some limits to what mindfulness can achieve in the ethical realm. I discuss recent developments in neuroethics that imply a prominent role for emotions in establishing ethical restraint. The Article also surveys a growing body of evidence that suggests the directive power of our emotions remains largely hidden from and impervious to the control of our “reasoning” selves. Lastly, the author examines what Riskin has, in an earlier work, described as the ethical hard case in light of recent explorations into the emotional wellsprings of deontological versus consequentialist thinking. Although the mediation community need not wade deeply into the debates currently roiling social psychologists, it is useful to reflect on the genesis of our ethical commitments and whether they continue to serve the field's long-term goals and interests.
Citation: 10 Nev. L. J. 513 (2010)