Institut Jean Nicod

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Journée Psychologie Morale

19 mars 2014


Institut Jean Nicod, ENS, Pavillon Jardin, 29, rue d'Ulm 75005 Paris. Salle de réunion, RDC.


Matinée : Méta-Ethique

10h-11h30 Uriah Kriegel (CNRS, IJN),
"Dual-Process Cognitivist Internalism"

The organizing problem of contemporary moral psychology emanates from the apparent tension between the inherently motivational role of moral judgments and their manifestly objectivistic phenomenology. I argue that dual-process accounts of moral judgment provide us with the resources to (dis)solve this problem. I call the emerging view of moral judgment dual-process cognitivist internalism. I close with remarks on how the view illuminates a first-order moral conundrum: why is it hard to do the right thing?

11h30-13h Stéphane Lemaire (Université Rennes 1, IJN),
"A practical criterion for the FAA of affective values"

On fitting attitude analyses of values, an object is, say, admirable if and only if admiration fits the object. These analyses of value face the wrong kind of reasons problem insofar as one may have reason to admire an object and hence reason to see admiration as fitting although the object is not admirable. All existing attempts to overcome the problem take it that prudential and moral reasons are irrelevant to the the relevant notion of fittingness. However, I suggest that if we focus on affective value concepts such as admirable, fearsome or despicable, this is a premature judgment for several reasons. In any case, the paper provides and justifies an analysis of these concepts that is largely in terms of practical reasons. In addition, I offer and motivate a criterion that identifies the right kind of reasons. I eventually show that the resulting analysis has paradoxical consequences that a friend of FAA of values might have wished to avoid.

Key words :
Value, reason, emotion, affective value, fittingness, Fitting attitude, fitting attitude analysis, wrong kind of reason problem.

13h-14h30 Déjeuner

Aprés-midi : Psychologie Morale

14h30-16h Tiziana Zalla (CNRS, IJN),
"Using moral information in social interaction in people with autism spectrum disorders"

Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are pervasive developmental disorders characterized by abnormal social interaction, verbal and non-verbal communication problems, and restricted interests. Here, I will present a series of studies investigating the relationships between judgments of intentionality and moral reasoning in adults with High Functioning Autism (HFA). Specifically, moral judgment is poorly influenced by the agent’s psychological states in these individuals suggesting that a diminished mindreading might affect moral reasoning. More recent findings show that, when asked to interact with virtual players in a trust game, individuals with HFA/AS rely more on moral information about the players that on their actual behaviour. Overall, in accordance with previous research, I suggest that difficulties for people with HFA arise at the computational level of information processing that combine discordant information into a single system of inferences. Indeed, it is possible that difficulties in moral reasoning might result from two distinct impairments in ASDs: subtle difficulties encoding the intentional structure of actions and a diminished ability to use mental state information for explaining behaviour, in concert with other types of relevant information. I conclude that moral reasoning, which is a is a key feature of social cognition, relies on the ability to use and integrate different types of information, including the intentional and the causal structure of the agent’s action, the action outcome and normative knowledge.

16h-17h30 Nicolas Baumard (IJN),
 "Why is there morality in the universe? An evolutionary approach"

What makes humans moral beings? This question can be understood either as a proximate “how” question or as an ultimate “why” question. The “how” question is about the mental and social mechanisms that produce moral judgments and interactions, and has been investigated by psychologists and social scientists. The “why” question is about the fitness consequences that explain why humans have morality, and has been discussed by evolutionary biologists in the context of the evolution of cooperation. My goal here is to contribute to a fruitful articulation of such proximate and ultimate explanations of human morality. I will present an approach to morality as an adaptation to an environment in which individuals were in competition to be chosen and recruited in mutually advantageous cooperative interactions. In this environment, the best strategy is to treat others with impartiality and to share the costs and benefits of cooperation equally. Those who offer less than others will be left out of cooperation; conversely, those who offer more will be exploited by their partners. In line with the idea, a range of experiments demonstrate that moral judgments aim at keeping social interactions mutually advantageous.