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On the perceived objectivity of some moral beliefs


Wood, G, On the perceived objectivity of some moral beliefs, Philosophical Psychology, 33, (1) pp. 23-41. ISSN 0951-5089 (2020) [Refereed Article]

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© 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Philosophical psychology on 7 December 2019, available online:

DOI: doi:10.1080/09515089.2019.1696454


This paper presents research in moral psychology and draws on this research to offer an account of the cognitive systems and processes that generate the perceived objectivity of some moral beliefs. It presents empirical research on the perceived objectivity of moral beliefs, compares different algorithms employed by human cognition in the context of model-free and model-based reinforcement learning, and uses concepts drawn from dual-system and modular theories of cognition. The central claim of the account is that belief in the objectivity of some moral beliefs results from certain ‘modular’ features of cognitive systems.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:moral psychology, metaethics, dual-process theory, modularity of mind, perceived objectivity of moral beliefs
Research Division:Philosophy and Religious Studies
Research Group:Philosophy
Research Field:Philosophical psychology (incl. moral psychology and philosophy of action)
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in psychology
UTAS Author:Wood, G (Dr Graham Wood)
ID Code:136541
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Office of the School of Humanities
Deposited On:2020-01-06
Last Modified:2021-04-28
Downloads:7 View Download Statistics

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