The case of the drunken sailor: On the generalisable wrongness of harmful transgressions

Katinka J P Quintelier, Daniel M T Fessler, Delphine de Smet

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

There is a widespread conviction that people distinguish two kinds of acts: on the one hand, acts that are generalisably wrong because they go against universal principles of harm, justice, or rights; on the other hand, acts that are variably right or wrong depending on the social context. In this paper we criticise existing methods that measure generalisability. We report new findings indicating that a modification of generalisability measures is in order. We discuss our findings in light of recent criticisms of moral/conventional research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-195
Number of pages13
JournalThinking & Reasoning
Volume18
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Keywords

  • Harm
  • Moral/conventional distinction
  • Morality
  • Social cognition
  • Transgression

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