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The long-standing rationalist tradition in moral psychology emphasizes the role of reason in moral judgment. A more recent trend places increased emphasis on emotion. Although both reason and emotion are likely to play important roles in moral judgment, relatively little is known about their neural correlates, the nature of their interaction, and the(More)
Traditional theories of moral psychology emphasize reasoning and "higher cognition," while more recent work emphasizes the role of emotion. The present fMRI data support a theory of moral judgment according to which both "cognitive" and emotional processes play crucial and sometimes mutually competitive roles. The present results indicate that brain regions(More)
Two things fi ll the mind with ever new and increasing wonder and awe, the oftener and more steadily we refl ect on them: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me. —Immanuel Kant That such an unnatural use (and so misuse) of one's sexual attributes is a violation of one's duty to himself and is certainly in the highest degree opposed to(More)
Traditional theories of moral development emphasize the role of controlled cognition in mature moral judgment, while a more recent trend emphasizes intuitive and emotional processes. Here we test a dual-process theory synthesizing these perspectives. More specifically, our theory associates utilitarian moral judgment (approving of harmful actions that(More)
Cooperation is central to human societies. Yet relatively little is known about the cognitive underpinnings of cooperative decision making. Does cooperation require deliberate self-restraint? Or is spontaneous prosociality reined in by calculating self-interest? Here we present a theory of why (and for whom) intuition favors cooperation: cooperation is(More)
In some cases people judge it morally acceptable to sacrifice one person's life in order to save several other lives, while in other similar cases they make the opposite judgment. Researchers have identified two general factors that may explain this phenomenon at the stimulus level: (1) the agent's intention (i.e. whether the harmful event is intended as a(More)
What makes people behave honestly when confronted with opportunities for dishonest gain? Research on the interplay between controlled and automatic processes in decision making suggests 2 hypotheses: According to the "Will" hypothesis, honesty results from the active resistance of temptation, comparable to the controlled cognitive processes that enable the(More)
The rapidly growing field of cognitive neuroscience holds the promise of explaining the operations of the mind in terms of the physical operations of the brain. Some suggest that our emerging understanding of the physical causes of human (mis)behaviour will have a transformative effect on the law. Others argue that new neuroscience will provide only new(More)
Koenigs, Young and colleagues [1] recently tested patients with emotion-related damage in the ventromedial prefron-tal cortex (VMPFC) using moral dilemmas used in previous neuroimaging studies [2,3]. These patients made unusually utilitarian judgments (endorsing harmful actions that promote the greater good). My collaborators and I have proposed a(More)