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Sentimental RulesOn the Natural Foundations of Moral Judgement$
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Shaun Nichols

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195169348

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0195169344.001.0001

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Philosophical Sentimentalism

Philosophical Sentimentalism

(p.83) 4 Philosophical Sentimentalism
Sentimental Rules

Shaun Nichols

Oxford University Press

According to the influential sentimentalist tradition in moral philosophy, moral judgment is grounded in affective response. On Allan Gibbard’s prominent contemporary version of this view, he maintains that to judge an action wrong is to judge that it would be appropriate to feel guilt on doing the action. In this chapter, evidence from developmental psychology is brought against this sentimentalist theory. The capacity for moral judgment emerges quite early, apparently well before the capacity to attribute guilt or other moral emotions. The evidence thus suggests that this capacity for moral judgment cannot be captured by accounts which identify the capacity for moral judgment with the capacity to judge that guilt is normatively appropriate.

Keywords:   dissociation, guilt, moral emotions, sentimentalism, Allan Gibbard

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