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The Origin of Moral Norms: A Moderate Nativist Account

  • Jessy Giroux (a1)

ABSTRACT: In this paper, I distinguish between two families of theories which view moral norms as either “inputs” or “outputs.” I argue that the most plausible version of each model can ultimately be seen as the two sides of the same model, which I call Moderate Nativism. The difference between these two apparently antagonistic models is one of perspective rather than content: while the Input model explains how emotional dispositions constrain the historical evolution of moral norms, the Output model explains how these same dispositions naturally give rise to corresponding moral judgments in individuals.

RÉSUMÉ: Dans cet article, je distingue deux familles théoriques qui conçoivent les normes morales comme des «intrants» (inputs) ou des «extrants» (outputs). Je soutiens que l’on peut ultimement unifier la meilleure version de ces deux modèles en un seul modèle théorique que je nomme l’Innéisme Modéré. La différence entre ces deux modèles apparemment antagonistes en est une de perspective plutôt que de contenu : alors que le modèle des intrants analyse l’impact de dispositions émotionnelles sur l’évolution historique des normes morales, le modèle des extrants s’intéresse plutôt au rôle de ces mêmes dispositions dans le développement de jugements moraux individuels.

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S. Nichols 2004 Sentimental Rules: On the Natural Foundations of Moral Judgment. New York: Oxford University Press.

M. Z. Rosaldo 1980 Knowledge and Passion: Llongot Notions of Self and the Social Life. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

D. Sperber 1994 “The Modularity of Thought and the Epidemiology of Representations.” In Mapping the Mind: Domain Specificity in Cognition and Culture, ed. L. A. Hirschfeld and S. A. Gelman . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 39–67.

E. Turiel 2002 The Culture of Morality: Social Development, Context, and Conflict. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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Dialogue: Canadian Philosophical Review / Revue canadienne de philosophie
  • ISSN: 0012-2173
  • EISSN: 1759-0949
  • URL: /core/journals/dialogue-canadian-philosophical-review-revue-canadienne-de-philosophie
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