Skip to main content

Switching Tracks? Towards a Multi-Dimensional Model of Utilitarian Psychology

Everett, Jim A.C., Kahane, Guy (2020) Switching Tracks? Towards a Multi-Dimensional Model of Utilitarian Psychology. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 23 (2). pp. 124-134. ISSN 1364-6613. E-ISSN 1879-307X. (doi:10.1016/j.tics.2019.11.012) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:79191)

PDF Author's Accepted Manuscript
Language: English

Restricted to Repository staff only until 3 January 2021.

Creative Commons Licence
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Contact us about this Publication
Official URL


Sacrificial moral dilemmas are widely used to investigate when, how, and why people make judgments that are consistent with utilitarianism. But to what extent can responses to sacrificial dilemmas shed light on utilitarian decision making? We consider two key questions: First, how meaningful is the relationship between responses to sacrificial dilemmas and what is distinctive of a utilitarian approach to morality? Second, to what extent do findings about sacrificial dilemmas generalise to other moral contexts where there is tension between utilitarianism and common-sense intuitions? We argue that sacrificial dilemmas only capture one point of conflict between utilitarianism and common-sense morality, and new paradigms are needed to investigate other key aspects of utilitarianism, such as its radical impartiality.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1016/j.tics.2019.11.012
Uncontrolled keywords: Utilitarianism; moral psychology; sacrificial dilemmas; harm; impartiality.
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF41 Psychology and philosophy
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology > Social Psychology
Depositing User: Jim Everett
Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2019 15:14 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2020 16:20 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Everett, Jim A.C.:
  • Depositors only (login required):


Downloads per month over past year