Beliefs About the True Self Explain Asymmetries Based on Moral Judgment

Cognitive Science 39 (1):96-125 (2015)
Abstract
Past research has identified a number of asymmetries based on moral judgments. Beliefs about what a person values, whether a person is happy, whether a person has shown weakness of will, and whether a person deserves praise or blame seem to depend critically on whether participants themselves find the agent's behavior to be morally good or bad. To date, however, the origins of these asymmetries remain unknown. The present studies examine whether beliefs about an agent's “true self” explain these observed asymmetries based on moral judgment. Using the identical materials from previous studies in this area, a series of five experiments indicate that people show a general tendency to conclude that deep inside every individual there is a “true self” calling him or her to behave in ways that are morally virtuous. In turn, this belief causes people to hold different intuitions about what the agent values, whether the agent is happy, whether he or she has shown weakness of will, and whether he or she deserves praise or blame. These results not only help to answer important questions about how people attribute various mental states to others; they also contribute to important theoretical debates regarding how moral values may shape our beliefs about phenomena that, on the surface, appear to be decidedly non-moral in nature.
Keywords Concepts  Happiness  Values  True self  Moral reasoning  Social cognition  Blame  Weakness of will
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/cogs.12134
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive
External links

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
Nicomachean Ethics. Aristotle - 1999 - Courier Dover Publications.
Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person.Harry G. Frankfurt - 1971 - Journal of Philosophy 68 (1):5-20.

View all 27 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Attributionism and Moral Responsibility for Implicit Bias.Michael Brownstein - 2016 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 7 (4):765-786.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Believing Badly.Damian Cox & Michael Levine - 2004 - Philosophical Papers 33 (3):309-328.
Is the Emotional Dog Wagging its Rational Tail, or Chasing It?Cordelia Fine - 2006 - Philosophical Explorations 9 (1):83 – 98.
Moral Obligation, Blame, and Self-Governance.John Skorupski - 2010 - Social Philosophy and Policy 27 (2):158-180.
Moral Relativism in Context.James Beebe - 2010 - Noûs 44 (4):691-724.
Moral Competence, Moral Blame, and Protest.Matthew Talbert - 2012 - Journal of Ethics 16 (1):89-109.
Describing Moral Weakness.Elizabeth Rapaport - 1975 - Philosophical Studies 28 (4):273-280.
Intuition and Belief in Moral Motivation.Antti Kauppinen - 2015 - In Gunnar Björnsson (ed.), Moral Internalism. Oxford University Press.
Is Probabilistic Evidence a Source of Knowledge?Ori Friedman & John Turri - 2015 - Cognitive Science 39 (5):1062-1080.

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2014-07-17

Total downloads

97 ( #49,784 of 2,143,787 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

39 ( #6,580 of 2,143,787 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums