Person as scientist, person as moralist

Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (4):315 (2010)
Authors
Joshua Knobe
Yale University
Abstract
It has often been suggested that people’s ordinary capacities for understanding the world make use of much the same methods one might find in a formal scientific investigation. A series of recent experimental results offer a challenge to this widely-held view, suggesting that people’s moral judgments can actually influence the intuitions they hold both in folk psychology and in causal cognition. The present target article distinguishes two basic approaches to explaining such effects. One approach would be to say that the relevant competencies are entirely non-moral but that some additional factor (conversational pragmatics, performance error, etc.) then interferes and allows people’s moral judgments to affect their intuitions. Another approach would be to say that moral considerations truly do figure in workings of the competencies themselves. It is argued that the data available now favor the second of these approaches over the first
Keywords Causal cognition   moral cognition   theory of mind
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DOI 10.1017/S0140525X10000907
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References found in this work BETA

Studies in the Way of Words.H. Paul Grice - 1989 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Does the Chimpanzee Have a Theory of Mind?David Premack & G. Woodruff - 1978 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 4 (4):515-629.
Eliminative Materialism and the Propositional Attitudes.Paul M. Churchland - 1981 - Journal of Philosophy 78 (February):67-90.

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Citations of this work BETA

Knowledge Entails Dispositional Belief.David Rose & Jonathan Schaffer - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 166 (S1):19-50.

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