•  311
    The role of emotion in moral psychology
    with Bryce Huebner and Marc Hauser
    Trends in Cognitive Sciences 13 (1): 1-6. 2009.
    Recent work in the cognitive and neurobiological sciences indicates an important relationship between emotion and moral judgment. Based on this evidence, several researchers have argued that emotions are the source of our intuitive moral judgments. However, despite the richness of the correlational data between emotion and morality, we argue that the current neurological, behavioral, developmental and evolutionary evidence is insufficient to demonstrate that emotion is necessary for making moral …Read more
  •  219
    The Linguistic Analogy: Motivations, Results, and Speculations
    with Bryce Huebner and Marc D. Hauser
    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 acc…Read more
  •  196
    The manifest dissociation between our capacity to make moral judgments and our ability to provide justifications for them, a phenomenon labeled Moral Dumbfounding, has important implications for the theory and practice of moral psychology. I articulate and develop the Linguistic Analogy as a robust alternative to existing sentimentalist models of moral judgment inspired by this phenomenon. The Linguistic Analogy motivates a crucial distinction between moral acceptability and moral permissibility…Read more
  •  149
    How good is the linguistic analogy?
    In Peter Carruthers, Stephen Laurence & Stephen P. Stich (eds.), The Innate Mind: Structure and Contents, Oxford University Press. pp. 145--167. 2006.
    A nativist moral psychology, modeled on the successes of theoretical linguistics, provides the best framework for explaining the acquisition of moral capacities and the diversity of moral judgment across the species. After a brief presentation of a poverty of the moral stimulus argument, this chapter sketches a view according to which a so-called Universal Moral Grammar provides a set of parameterizable principles whose specific values are set by the child's environment, resulting in the acquisi…Read more
  •  110
    What psychopaths can teach us
    The Philosophers' Magazine 9 (9): 32-33. 2000.
  •  98
    Pornography has attracted a good deal of academic and political attention, primarily from feminists of various persuasions, moral philosophers, and legal scholars. Surprisingly less work has been forthcoming from film theorists, given how much pornography has been produced on video and DVD and is now available through live streaming video over the Internet. Indeed, it is not until 1989, with the publication of Linda Williams’ groundbreaking Hard Core, that pornography is distinguished, in terms …Read more
  •  79
    We must admire the ambition of Prinz’s title question. But does he provide a convincing answer to it? Prinz’s own view of morality as “a byproduct – accidental or invented – of faculties that evolved for different purposes (1),” which appears to express a negative reply, does not receive much direct argument here. Rather, Prinz’s main aim is to try to show that the considerations he believes are typically presented by moral nativists are insufficient or inadequate to establish that morality is i…Read more
  •  58
    Moral Development and Moral Responsibility
    The Monist 86 (2): 181-199. 2003.
    At the end of Section III of “Freedom and Resentment,” just after he has drawn our attention to the reactive attitudes, P. F. Strawson remarks, “The object of these commonplaces is to try to keep before our minds something it is easy to forget when we are engaged in philosophy, especially in our cool, contemporary style, viz., what it is actually like to be involved in ordinary inter-personal relationships, ranging from the most intimate to the most casual.” It is striking, then, that the propon…Read more
  •  45
    Free Speech
    SATS 2 (2): 80-97. 2001.
  •  44
    Political Correctness
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 27 (4): 545-569. 1997.
  •  40
    Who's Afraid of Feminism? (review)
    Dialogue 35 (2): 327-342. 1996.
    Philosopher Christina Hoff Sommers's target in Who Stole Feminism? How Women Have Betrayed Women is “gender feminism.” Her aim is to convince us that gender feminists are anti-intellectual opportunists who deliberately spread lies about the incidence of date rape, domestic battery and about the general state of male-female relations in America, thereby generating fear and resentment of men, all so that they may secure vast amounts of government funding and high-paying jobs in the academy. Becaus…Read more
  •  39
    Reconciliation for realists
    Ethics and International Affairs 13. 1999.
    The rhetoric of reconciliation is common in situations where traditional judicial responses to past wrongdoing are unavailable because of corruption, large numbers of offenders, or anxiety about the political consequences. But what constitutes reconciliation?
  •  34
    The many faces of autonomy
    The Philosophers' Magazine 13 40-41. 2001.
  •  31
    Depending on how one looks at it, we have been enjoying or suffering a significant empirical turn in moral psychology during this first decade of the 21st century. While philosophers have, from time to time, considered empirical matters with respect to morality, those who took an interest in actual (rather than ideal) moral agents were primarily concerned with whether particular moral theories were ‘too demanding’ for creatures like us (Flanagan, 1991; Williams, 1976; Wolf, 1982). Faithful adher…Read more
  •  28
    Moral competence is cognitive but (perhaps) nonmodular
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences 19 (1): 128-129. 1996.
    Barresi & Moore's account has at least two implications for moral psychology. First, it appears to provide support for cognitive theories of moral competence. Second, their claim that the development of social understanding depends upondomain-generalchanges in cognitive ability appears to oppose the idea that moral competence is under-pinned by a moral module.
  •  25
    Abortion raises a number of difficult questions for morality, law, and public policy. When, if ever, is abortion morally permissible? Do women have a legal right to abortion, and how is that right to be justified? Ought abortions for poor women be funded by the state? These questions are related in the sense that answers to any one of them have implications for answers to the others. But it is crucial to remember that they are different questions. For example, suppose abortion is never morally p…Read more
  •  16
    Why care where moral intuitions come from?
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences 17 (1): 14-15. 1994.
  •  13
    Morality is so steeped in the quotidian details of praise and blame, of do’s and don’t’s, and of questions about the justifiability of certain practices it is no wonder that philosophers and psychologists have devoted relatively little effort to investigating what makes moral life possible in the first place. In making this claim, I neither ignore Kant and his intellectual descendants, nor the large literature in developmental moral psychology from Piaget on. My charge has to do with this fact: …Read more
  •  8
    What psychopaths can teach us
    The Philosophers' Magazine 9 32-33. 2000.
  •  6
    Critical Notice (review)
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 27 (4): 545-569. 1997.
  •  5
    The many faces of autonomy
    The Philosophers' Magazine 13 40-41. 2001.
  •  4
    Moral competence
    In Kumiko Murasugi & Robert Stainton (eds.), Philosophy and Linguistics, Westview Press. pp. 169--190. 1999.