David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Mind 119 (475):585-614 (2010)
Metaethics has recently been confronted by evidence from cognitive neuroscience that tacit emotional processes play an essential causal role in moral judgement. Most neuroscientists, and some metaethicists, take this evidence to vindicate a version of metaethical sentimentalism. In this paper we argue that the ‘dual process’ model of cognition that frames the discussion within and without philosophy does not do justice to an important constraint on any theory of deliberation and judgement. Namely, decision-making is the exercise of a capacity for agency. Agency, in turn, requires a capacity to conceive of oneself as temporally extended: to inhabit, in both memory and imagination, an autobiographical past and future. To plan, to commit to plans, and to act in accordance with previous plans requires a diachronic self, able to transcend the present moment. While this fact about agency is central to much of moral philosophy (e.g. in discussions of autonomy and moral responsibility) it is opaque to the dual process framework and those meta-ethical accounts which situate themselves within this model of cognition. We show how this is the case and argue for an empirically adequate account of moral judgement which gives sufficient role to memory and imagination as cognitive prerequisites of agency. We reconsider the empirical evidence, provide an alternative, agentive, interpretation of key findings, and evaluate the consequences for metaethics.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
R. L. Buckner & D. C. Carroll (2007). Self-Projection and the Brain. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 11 (2):49-57.
Joshua Greene & Jonathan Haidt (2002). How Does Moral Judgment Work? Trends in Cognitive Sciences 6 (12):517-523.
Jesse J. Prinz (2006). The Emotional Basis of Moral Judgments. Philosophical Explorations 9 (1):29-43.
Zenon W. Pylyshyn (1999). Is Vision Continuous with Cognition? The Case for Cognitive Impenetrability of Visual Perception. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (3):341-365.
Zenon W. Pylyshyn (2000). Is Vision Continuous with Cognition? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (3):341-365.
Citations of this work BETA
Neil Levy (2013). Psychopaths and Blame: The Argument From Content. Philosophical Psychology (3):1-17.
Hanno Sauer (2012). Psychopaths and Filthy Desks: Are Emotions Necessary and Sufficient for Moral Judgment? Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 15 (1):95-115.
Chandra Sripada (forthcoming). Free Will and the Construction of Options. Philosophical Studies:1-21.
Hanno Sauer (2012). Morally Irrelevant Factors: What's Left of the Dual Process-Model of Moral Cognition? Philosophical Psychology 25 (6):783-811.
John R. Shook & James Giordano (2014). A Principled and Cosmopolitan Neuroethics: Considerations for International Relevance. Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine 9 (1):1.
Similar books and articles
M. Synofzik, G. Vosgerau & A. Newen (2008). Beyond the Comparator Model: A Multi-Factorial Two-Step Account of Agency. Consciousness and Cognition 17 (1):219-239.
Karen Jones (2006). Metaethics and Emotions Research: A Response to Prinz. Philosophical Explorations 9 (1):45-53.
Markus E. Schlosser (2013). Conscious Will, Reason-Responsiveness, and Moral Responsibility. Journal of Ethics 17 (3):205-232.
Kenneth Einar Himma (2009). Artificial Agency, Consciousness, and the Criteria for Moral Agency: What Properties Must an Artificial Agent Have to Be a Moral Agent? [REVIEW] Ethics and Information Technology 11 (1):19-29.
Jillian Craigie (2011). Thinking and Feeling: Moral Deliberation in a Dual-Process Framework. Philosophical Psychology 24 (1):53-71.
Jeanette Kennett & Steve Matthews (2009). Mental Timetravel, Agency and Responsibility. In Matthew Broome Lisa Bortolotti (ed.), Psychiatry as Cognitive Neuroscience: Philosophical Perspectives.
Paul Shapiro (2006). Moral Agency in Other Animals. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 27 (4):357-373.
Maike Albertzart (2013). Principle-Based Moral Judgement. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (2):339-354.
Lynne Tirrell (1990). Storytelling and Moral Agency. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 48 (2):115-126.
Jeanette Kennett (2001). Agency and Responsibility: A Common-Sense Moral Psychology. Oxford University Press.
Sigmund Wagner-Tsukamoto (2009). Consumer Ethics in Japan: An Economic Reconstruction of Moral Agency of Japanese Firms – Qualitative Insights From Grocery/Retail Markets. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 84 (1):29 - 44.
Jeanette Kennett (2002). Autism, Empathy and Moral Agency. Philosophical Quarterly 52 (208):340-357.
Brent Strickland, Matt Fisher & Joshua Knobe (2012). Moral Structure Falls Out of General Event Structure. Psychological Inquiry 23 (2):198-205.
Justin Sytsma & Edouard Machery (2012). The Two Sources of Moral Standing. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 3 (3):303-324.
Heidi Maibom (2010). What Experimental Evidence Shows Us About the Role of Emotions in Moral Judgement. Philosophy Compass 5 (11):999-1012.
Added to index2010-09-01
Total downloads415 ( #3,890 of 1,911,836 )
Recent downloads (6 months)95 ( #4,470 of 1,911,836 )
How can I increase my downloads?