Cognition 112 (2):281-299 (2009)
|Abstract||Evolutionary theories of morality, beginning with Darwin, have focused on explanations for altruism. More generally, these accounts have concentrated on conscience (self-regulatory mechanisms) to the neglect of condemnation (mechanisms for punishing others). As a result, few theoretical tools are available for understanding the rapidly accumulating data surrounding third-party judgment and punishment. Here we consider the strategic interactions among actors, victims, and third-parties to help illuminate condemnation. We argue that basic differences between the adaptive problems faced by actors and third-parties indicate that actor conscience and third-party condemnation are likely performed by different cognitive mechanisms. Further, we argue that current theories of conscience do not easily explain its experimentally demonstrated insensitivity to consequences. However, these results might be explicable if conscience functions, in part, as a defense system for avoiding third-party punishment. If conscience serves defensive functions, then its computational structure should be closely tailored to the details of condemnation mechanisms. This possibility underscores the need for a better understanding of condemnation, which is important not only in itself but also for explaining the nature of conscience. We outline three evolutionary mysteries of condemnation that require further attention: third-party judgment, moralistic punishment, and moral impartiality.|
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Through your library||Configure|
Similar books and articles
David Wood (2010). Punishment: The Future. Philosophy Compass 5 (6):483-491.
Daniel P. Sulmasy (2008). What is Conscience and Why is Respect for It so Important? Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 29 (3):135-149.
Mark C. Murphy (1997). The Conscience Principle. Journal of Philosophical Research 22:387-407.
Donovan Miyasaki (2010). Nietzsche Contra Freud on Bad Conscience. Nietzsche-Studien 39.
Dennis Krebs (2008). Morality: An Evolutionary Account. Perspectives on Psychological Science 3 (3):149-172.
Kimberley Brownlee (2012). Conscience and Conviction: The Case for Civil Disobedience. Oxford University Press.
Ryan E. Lawrence & Farr A. Curlin (2007). Clash of Definitions: Controversies About Conscience in Medicine. American Journal of Bioethics 7 (12):10 – 14.
Roger Wertheimer (1998). Constraining Condemning. Ethics 108 (3):489-501.
Matthew Beard (2011). Two Views of Conscience for the Australian People. Solidarity 1 (1).
William Lyons (2009). Conscience – an Essay in Moral Psychology. Philosophy 84 (4):477-494.
John F. Wippel (2001). David Piché on the Condemnation of 1277. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 75 (4):597-624.
Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.
Added to index2012-04-02
Recent downloads (6 months)0
How can I increase my downloads?