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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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EmbargoDissertation Not Available (per Author's Request) / University of Arizona affiliates can find this item in the ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Database
AbstractIn this dissertation I develop a theory of moral judgment as a natural kind. Instead of analyzing the concept of moral judgment, I develop an empirically grounded theory of its underlying nature. In chapter one I argue that moral judgment is a hybrid state of moral belief and moral emotion. The view is supported by a dual systems model of moral cognition and accounts for the internal but defeasible relationship between moral judgment and motivation. In chapter two I argue that in moral judgment moral norms are conceptualized as social, serious, general, authority-independent and objective. The view is supported by empirical research on the moral/conventional distinction and yields an empirical explanation of the possibility of genuine moral agreement and disagreement. In chapter three I explore whether psychopaths have the capacity for moral judgment, and thus whether they are real life "amoralists," individuals who make moral judgments but lack moral motivation. I argue that psychopaths have an impaired capacity for moral judgment and that prominent internalist accounts of moral judgment have difficulty accounting for psychopaths' peculiar combination of deficits.
Degree ProgramGraduate College