Behavioral and Brain Sciences

open peer commentary

cognitivism, controversy, and moral heuristics

matthew d. adler a1
a1 university of pennsylvania law school, philadelphia, pa 19104


sunstein aims to provide a nonsectarian account of moral heuristics, yet the account rests on a controversial meta-ethical view. further, moral theorists who reject act consequentialism may deny that sunstein's examples involve moral mistakes. but so what? within a theory that counts consequences as a morally weighty feature of actions, the moral judgments that sunstein points to are indeed mistaken, and the fact that governmental action at odds with these judgments will be controversial doesn't bar such action.