Moral Reputation: An Evolutionary and Cognitive Perspective

Authors

  • Dan Sperber,

    Corresponding author
    1. Institut Jean Nicod, ENS and EHESS, Paris
    • Department of Cognitive Science and Department of Philosophy, Central European University, Budapest
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  • Nicolas Baumard

    1. Institut Jean Nicod, ENS and EHESS, Paris
    2. Philosophy, Politics and Economics Program at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
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  • We are grateful to Deirdre Wilson and to four anonymous reviewers for their very useful comments and suggestions.

Address for correspondence: Dan Sperber Institut Jean Nicod, ENS 29 rue d'Ulm, 75005 Paris, France.

Email: dan.sperber@gmail.com

Abstract

From an evolutionary point of view, the function of moral behaviour may be to secure a good reputation as a co-operator. The best way to do so may be to obey genuine moral motivations. Still, one's moral reputation maybe something too important to be entrusted just to one's moral sense. A robust concern for one's reputation is likely to have evolved too. Here we explore some of the complex relationships between morality and reputation both from an evolutionary and a cognitive point of view.

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