Moral Judgement and Motivation THE MORAL/CONVENTIONAL DISTINCTION There are many findings on children’s ability (from a very young age) to distinguish between moral and conventional obligations. Moral obligations are seen as less permissible, more serious and less authority dependent. Nichols argues (in his book) that this counts against ‘perspective taking’ accounts, i.e. accounts that require us to take the perspective of another. Basic argument: (i) perspective taking accounts require us to have a theory of mind for other people, but this comes in after children get the conventional/moral distinction (the empirical findings here are now in question again); (ii) autistic children get the conventional/moral distinction, but find to very hard to empathize with others. (Is this opposed to a Kantian or a Humean view? Or both? Nichols seems to think that it only counts against the former.) EXPLAINING THE MORAL/CONVENTIONAL DISTINCTION Blair’s account: the Violence Inhibition Mechanism (VIM): compare the response of dogs to
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