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Generalization and the experience of obligations as externally imposed: Distinct contributors to the evolution of human cooperation

  • Elizabeth O'Neill (a1)

It is worth distinguishing two phenomena involved in moral externalization: the experience of moral obligations as externally imposed and the tendency to generalize moral obligations. I propose that each played a distinct role in creating the conditions under which characteristically human cooperation could evolve.

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Nichols, S. & Folds-Bennett, T. (2003) Are children moral objectivists? Children's judgments about moral and response-dependent properties. Cognition 90(2):B2332. Available at:
Southwood, N. (2011) The moral/conventional distinction. Mind 120(479):761802.
Tomasello, M. (2016) A natural history of human morality. Harvard University Press.
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Behavioral and Brain Sciences
  • ISSN: 0140-525X
  • EISSN: 1469-1825
  • URL: /core/journals/behavioral-and-brain-sciences
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