A two-tiered cognitive architecture for moral reasoning

Bolender J.

BIOLOGY & PHILOSOPHY, vol.16, no.3, pp.339-356, 2001 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 16 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2001
  • Doi Number: 10.1023/a:1010663018267
  • Journal Name: BIOLOGY & PHILOSOPHY
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.339-356
  • Keywords: ambivalence, attitude, cognitive architecture, cognitively penetrable, inclusive fitness, informationally encapsulated, mental faculty, module, moral intuition, moral judgment, repression, strength of attitude, teleological, ATTITUDE ACCESSIBILITY, SCIENCE, MODEL
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: No


The view that moral cognition is subserved by a two-tiered architecture is defended: Moral reasoning is the result both of specialized, informationally encapsulated modules which automatically and effortlessly generate intuitions; and of general-purpose, cognitively penetrable mechanisms which enable moral judgment in the light of the agent's general fund of knowledge. This view is contrasted with rival architectures of social/moral cognition, such as Cosmides and Tooby's view that the mind is wholly modular, and it is argued that a two-tiered architecture is more plausible.