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Moral Psychology and Human AgencyPhilosophical Essays on the Science of Ethics$
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Justin D'Arms and Daniel Jacobson

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198717812

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198717812.001.0001

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Meta-Cognition, Mind-Reading, and Humean Moral Agency

Meta-Cognition, Mind-Reading, and Humean Moral Agency

Chapter:
(p.123) 6 Meta-Cognition, Mind-Reading, and Humean Moral Agency
Source:
Moral Psychology and Human Agency
Author(s):

Julia Driver

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198717812.003.0006

Moral agency, as opposed to mere agency, is the agency that underlies distinctly moral action. This is in contrast to other sorts of agency. For example, “mere” agency is the sort of agency one sees in animal behavior as well as a good deal of human behavior. This is agency that produces action that is the result of features of psychology such as beliefs and desires, motives, intentions. However, mere agency is not regulated in the same way as moral agency. Moral agency is regulated by approval/disapproval of our mental states and/or the mental states of others. The chapter’s claim is not that the capacity for meta-order approval or disapproval is a necessary condition for moral agency. Rather it’s claim is that it is very important—given other features of our psychology—for effective moral agency.

Keywords:   sentimentalism, agency, moral agency, meta-cognition, mind-reading, Hume, Anhedonia

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