Patterns of Moral Judgment Derive From Nonmoral Psychological Representations

Cognitive Science 35 (6):1052-1075 (2011)
Abstract
Ordinary people often make moral judgments that are consistent with philosophical principles and legal distinctions. For example, they judge killing as worse than letting die, and harm caused as a necessary means to a greater good as worse than harm caused as a side-effect (Cushman, Young, & Hauser, 2006). Are these patterns of judgment produced by mechanisms specific to the moral domain, or do they derive from other psychological domains? We show that the action/omission and means/side-effect distinctions affect nonmoral representations and provide evidence that their role in moral judgment is mediated by these nonmoral psychological representations. Specifically, the action/omission distinction affects moral judgment primarily via causal attribution, while the means/side-effect distinction affects moral judgment via intentional attribution. We suggest that many of the specific patterns evident in our moral judgments in fact derive from nonmoral psychological mechanisms, and especially from the processes of causal and intentional attribution
Keywords Doctrine of double effect  Omission bias  Morality  Causation  Attribution  Doctrine of doing and allowing  Theory of mind  Intention
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 10,273
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

View all 22 references

Citations of this work BETA
Similar books and articles
Annemarie Kalis (2010). Improving Moral Judgments: Philosophical Considerations. Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 30 (2):94-108.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2011-02-01

Total downloads

67 ( #20,237 of 1,096,280 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #84,313 of 1,096,280 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.