Mind perception is the essence of moral judgment. Broadly, moral standing is linked to perceptions of mind, with moral responsibility tied to perceived agency, and moral rights tied to perceived experience. More specifically, moral judgments are based on a fundamental template of two perceived minds—an intentional agent and a suffering patient. This dyadic template grows out of the universal power of harm, and serves as a cognitive working model through which even atypical moral events are understood. Thus, all instances of immorality are perceived to involve both blameworthy agents (i.e., acts) and suffering victims (i.e., consequences). Because moral cognition simultaneously concerns acts and consequences, theories which focus primarily on acts (i.e., deontology) or consequences (i.e., utilitarianism) do not accurately describe moral cognition. Indeed, the phenomenon of dyadic completion suggests that deontological and utilitarian concerns are not only simultaneously active, but also typically compatible and reinforcing: wrong acts have harmful consequences, and harmful consequences stem from wrong acts. The cognitive fusion of acts with consequences suggests that normative conflicts between deontology and utilitarianism are not reflected in everyday moral judgment. This in turn suggests that empirical conclusions drawn from moral dilemmas that pit utilitarianism against deontology—i.e., trolley problems—give an skewed account of moral cognition
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s13164-012-0112-5
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 69,018
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

Minds, Brains, and Programs.John R. Searle - 1980 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 3 (3):417-57.
Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person.Harry G. Frankfurt - 1971 - Journal of Philosophy 68 (1):5-20.
Animal Liberation.Peter Singer (ed.) - 1977 - Avon Books.
Computing Machinery and Intelligence.Alan M. Turing - 1950 - Mind 59 (October):433-60.

View all 79 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Enactivism, Other Minds, and Mental Disorders.Joel Krueger - 2019 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 1):365-389.
Direct Social Perception.Joel Krueger - forthcoming - In Albert Newen, Leon de Bruin & Gallagher Shaun (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of 4E Cognition.

View all 14 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Practice of Medical Ethics: A Structuralistic Approach.William J. Ellos - 1984 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 5 (3).
Moral Rules and Particular Circumstances.Baruch A. Brody - 1970 - Englewood Cliffs, N.J., Prentice-Hall.
Intuitionism.Anthony Skelton - 2013 - In James Crimmins (ed.), Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Utilitarianism. Bloomsbury Academic.
Utilitarianism and Co-Operation.Donald Regan - 1980 - Oxford University Press.
On the Paradox of Deontology.William H. Shaw - 1991 - Journal of Philosophical Research 16:393-406.


Added to PP index

Total views
97 ( #118,970 of 2,498,536 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #211,850 of 2,498,536 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes