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Fiche mise à jour le 18 octobre 2018

Intentionality, Morality, and the Incest Taboo in Madagascar

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Auteurs : Paulo Sousa, Lauren Swiney
Périodique : Frontiers in Psychology
Numéros : vol. 7, ISSN 1664-1078 (En ligne)
Dates : Date de publication: 07/04/2016
Liens internet : DOI


Titre :

Intentionality, Morality, and the Incest Taboo in Madagascar


In a recent article, cognitive anthropologists Astuti and Bloch claim that the Malagasy are ambivalent as to whether considerations of intentionality are relevant to moral judgments concerning incest and its presumed catastrophic consequences: when making moral judgments about those who commit incest, the Malagasy take into account whether the incest is intentional or not, but, when making moral judgments relating to incest’s catastrophic consequences, they do not take intentionality into account. Astuti and Bloch explain the irrelevance of intentionality in terms of incest entailing such a fundamental attack on the transcendental social order that the Malagasy become dumbfounded and leave aside considerations of intentionality. Finally, they claim that a similar dumbfound reaction is what is involved in the moral dumbfounding concerning incest that social psychologist Jonathan Haidt has found in the US. In this article, we argue that (i) Astuti and Bloch are unclear about many aspects of their claims (in particular, about the moral judgments at stake), (ii) they do not provide sufficient evidence that considerations of intentionality are deemed irrelevant to moral judgments relating to incest’s presumed catastrophic consequences (and hence for the claim that the Malagasy are ambivalent), (iii) their hypothesis that conceiving of incest as an attack on the transcendental social renders considerations of intentionality irrelevant lacks coherence, and (iv) the extension of their explanatory account to the moral dumfounding of American students in Haidt’s well-known scenario of intentional incest is unwarranted.

Mots-clés libres (FR) :

General Psychology

Mots-clés libres (EN) :

Incest taboo, Intentionality attributions, Moral judgments, Madagascar


Langue : anglais
Numéro de fiche : 1186
Source : CrossRef: 2018-05-04
Type de fiche : Article de périodique
Création : 04/05/2018
Dernière modification : 18/10/2018
Statut WordPress : Publié