David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophical Explorations 9 (1):105 – 116 (2006)
Deontic reasoning is reasoning about permission and obligation: what one may do and what one must do, respectively. Conceivably, people could reason about deontic matters using a purely formal deontic calculus. I review evidence from a range of psychological experiments suggesting that this is not the case. Instead, I argue that deontic reasoning is supported by a collection of dissociable cognitive adaptations for solving adaptive problems that likely would have confronted ancestral humans.
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