Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Moral Punishment Instinct$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Jan-Willem van Prooijen

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190609979

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190609979.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 19 August 2019

Reason or Intuition?

Reason or Intuition?

Chapter:
(p.69) 3 Reason or Intuition?
Source:
The Moral Punishment Instinct
Author(s):

Jan-Willem van Prooijen

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190609979.003.0003

This chapter pits the motives described in Chapter 2 against each other. If people pursue punishment, are they mainly driven by utilitarian or retributive motives? The evidence overwhelmingly suggests that retributive motives trump utilitarian motives. Sometimes people do use rational reasoning when punishing, but while emotion tends to increase punishment, reason tends to decrease punishment. At the same time, the chapter takes issue with authors who have positioned behavioral control as a “happy byproduct” of moral punishment. In the evolutionary history of our species, we evolved a moral punishment instinct because it was adaptive in controlling the behavior of selfish group members. Put differently, the power to control behavior is the very reason why humans evolved a punishment instinct as part of their intuitive moral psychology.

Keywords:   Retributive motives, utilitarian motives, torture, morality, reason, behavioral control, evolution

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .