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Autism, Morality and Empathy

Abstract : The golden rule of most religions assumes that the cognitive abilities of perspective-taking and empathy are the basis of morality. One would therefore predict that people that display difficulties in those abilities, such as people with psychopathy and autism, are impaired in morality. But then why do autistics have a sense of morality while psychopaths do not, given that they both display a deficit of empathy? We would like here to refine some of the views on autism and morality. In order to do so, we will investigate whether autism really challenges a Humean view of morality. We will then provide a new conceptual framework based on the distinction between egocentric and allocentric stances, which may help us to make some predictions about the autistic sense of morality.
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Contributor : Frédérique de Vignemont <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, January 13, 2009 - 11:03:08 AM
Last modification on : Friday, July 2, 2021 - 9:58:02 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Tuesday, June 8, 2010 - 7:46:49 PM


  • HAL Id : ijn_00352445, version 1



Frédérique de Vignemont. Autism, Morality and Empathy. W. Sinnott-Armstrong. Moral Psychology volume 3: The Neuroscience of Morality, Mass.: MIT Press, pp.273-280, 2007. ⟨ijn_00352445⟩



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