A lineage explanation of human normative guidance: the coadaptive model of instrumental rationality and shared intentionality

Synthese 200 (6):1-32 (2022)
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This paper aims to contribute to the existing literature on normative cognition by providing a lineage explanation of human social norm psychology. This approach builds upon theories of goal-directed behavioral control in the reinforcement learning and control literature, arguing that this form of control defines an important class of intentional normative mental states that are instrumental in nature. I defend the view that great ape capacities for instrumental reasoning and our capacity (or family of capacities) for shared intentionality coadapted to each other and argue that the evolution of this capacity has allowed the representation of social norms and the emergence of our capacity for normative guidance.

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Ivan Gonzalez-Cabrera
University of Berne


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