David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Topics in Cognitive Science 2 (3):486-510 (2010)
Inspired by the success of generative linguistics and transformational grammar, proponents of the linguistic analogy (LA) in moral psychology hypothesize that careful attention to folk-moral judgments is likely to reveal a small set of implicit rules and structures responsible for the ubiquitous and apparently unbounded capacity for making moral judgments. As a theoretical hypothesis, LA thus requires a rich description of the computational structures that underlie mature moral judgments, an account of the acquisition and development of these structures, and an analysis of those components of the moral system that are uniquely human and uniquely moral. In this paper we present the theoretical motivations for adopting LA in the study of moral cognition: (a) the distinction between competence and performance, (b) poverty of stimulus considerations, and (c) adopting the computational level as the proper level of analysis for the empirical study of moral judgment. With these motivations in hand, we review recent empirical findings that have been inspired by LA and which provide evidence for at least two predictions of LA: (a) the computational processes responsible for folk-moral judgment operate over structured representations of actions and events, as well as coding for features of agency and outcomes; and (b) folk-moral judgments are the output of a dedicated moral faculty and are largely immune to the effects of context. In addition, we highlight the complexity of the interfaces between the moral faculty and other cognitive systems external to it (e.g., number systems). We conclude by reviewing the potential utility of the theoretical and empirical tools of LA for future research in moral psychology
|Keywords||Moral development Moral faculty Linguistic analogy Moral judgment|
|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
Daniel M. Bartels (2008). Principled Moral Sentiment and the Flexibility of Moral Judgment and Decision Making. Cognition 108 (2):381-417.
R. J. R. Blair (2007). The Amygdala and Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex in Morality and Psychopathy. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 11 (9):387-392.
Elizabeth M. Brannon (2002). The Development of Ordinal Numerical Knowledge in Infancy. Cognition 83 (3):223-240.
Noam Chomsky (1965). Aspects of the Theory of Syntax. The Mit Press.
Noam A. Chomsky (1980). Rules and Representations. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 3 (127):1-61.
Citations of this work BETA
Ben Fraser & Marc Hauser (2010). The Argument From Disagreement and the Role of Cross-Cultural Empirical Data. Mind and Language 25 (5):541-560.
Mark Johnson (2011). There is No Moral Faculty. Philosophical Psychology 25 (3):409 - 432.
Bryce Huebner, Marc D. Hauser & Phillip Pettit (2011). How the Source, Inevitability and Means of Bringing About Harm Interact in Folk-Moral Judgments. Mind and Language 26 (2):210-233.
Similar books and articles
David Morrow (2009). Moral Psychology and the Mencian Creature. Philosophical Psychology 22 (3):281-304.
John M. Mikhail (2011). Elements of Moral Cognition: Rawls' Linguistic Analogy and the Cognitive Science of Moral and Legal Judgment. Cambridge University Press.
Ron Mallon (2008). Reviving Rawls's Linguistic Analogy Inside and Out. In Walter Sinnott-Armstrong (ed.), Moral Psychology, Volume 2.
Marc D. Hauser, Liane Young & Fiery Cushman (2008). Reviving Rawls's Linguistic Analogy: Operative Principles and the Causal Structure of Moral Actions. In Walter Sinnott-Armstrong (ed.), Moral Psychology, Volume 2. MIT Press.
Richmond Campbell & Victor Kumar (2012). Moral Reasoning on the Ground. Ethics 122 (2):273-312.
Steve Guglielmo, Andrew E. Monroe & Bertram F. Malle (2009). At the Heart of Morality Lies Folk Psychology. Inquiry 52 (5):449-466.
Frederik Kaufman (1992). Moral Realism and Moral Judgments. Erkenntnis 36 (1):103 - 112.
Susan Dwyer (2009). Moral Dumbfounding and the Linguistic Analogy: Methodological Implications for the Study of Moral Judgment. Mind and Language 24 (3):274-296.
Added to index2010-08-11
Total downloads53 ( #36,284 of 1,410,434 )
Recent downloads (6 months)6 ( #38,287 of 1,410,434 )
How can I increase my downloads?