Sunstein's characterization of moral blunders jointly indicts an intuitive process and the structure of heuristics. But intuitions need not lead to error, and the problems with moral heuristics apply also to moral principles. Accordingly, moral development may well involve more, rather than less, intuitive responsiveness. This suggests a novel trajectory for future research into the development of appropriate moral judgments.
Carpendale & Lewis's (C&L's) proposal of a social interaction account makes clear the need for researchers of all theoretical orientations to get specific about how social experience influences children's developing understanding of mind, but it is premature to reject other theories, such as theory-theory, which also attribute a major role to experience.
In challenging the assumption of autistic social uninterest, Jaswal & Akhtar have opened the door to scrutinizing similar unexamined assumptions embedded in other literatures, such as those on children's typically developing behaviors regarding others’ minds and morals. Extending skeptical analysis to other areas may reveal new approaches for evaluating competing claims regarding social interest in autistic individuals.
For Tomasello's proposed ontology of the human sense of moral obligation, observations of early moral language may provide useful evidence complementary to that afforded by experimental research. Extant reports of children's everyday moral talk reveal patterns of participation and content that accord with the proposal and hint at extensions addressing individual differences.
In this commentary we suggest that asymmetries in reasoning associated with moral judgment do not necessarily invalidate a theory-theory account of naïve psychological reasoning. The asymmetries may reflect a core knowledge assumption that human nature is prosocial, an assumption that heightens vigilance for antisocial dispositions, which in turn leads to differing assumptions about what is the presumed topic of conversation.
Developmental psychology should play an essential constraining role in developmental cognitive neuroscience. Theories of neural development must account explicitly for the early emergence of knowledge and abilities in infants and young children documented in developmental research. Especially in need of explanation at the neural level is the early emergence of meta-representation.