Emotions and moral agency

Philosophical Explorations 13 (3):275-292 (2011)
In this paper, I present a general profile of individuals with psychopathy, autism, and acquired sociopathy as well as look specifically at the abilities of these individuals with respect to the moral domain. These individuals are individually and collectively interesting because of their significant affective and social impairments. I argue that none of these individuals should be considered full moral agents based on a proposed account of moral agency consisting of the following two necessary conditions: (1) the capacity for moral judgment and (2) the capacity for moral motivation. Since each of these groups of individuals fails to satisfy the criteria in a different way, these arguments help to distinguish three primary ways in which emotion contributes to moral motivation. I conclude with a suggested general implication of this discussion for related debates in moral theory.
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DOI 10.1080/13869795.2010.501898
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