7 October 2012
The Thoughts of Christopher Boone
Many believe that those with autism do not have the capacity of developing moral agency without empathy. Kids at a young age are taught the lessons of good and bad of what other people see as good that impacts on them as they grow up. The same concept goes with Christopher in the novel of, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon, that endorse the fact that he has autism is able to learn right and wrong without feelings. He is viewed as naïve, but gives that sense of innocence of nature through the way he portrays his thoughts to action. To fully understand Christopher on whether he has moral agency is better developed in the essay, "Autism, Empathy and Moral Agency" by Jeanette Kennett, a psychologist who depicts beneficial research that characterizes how it is seen. She supports the idea that autistic individuals are able to possess an ability to form moral agency while the lack of empathy by the development through alternate means. Even though Christopher is considerdered to be incompatible at expressing his feelings, it shows through his actions and proves the existence of his moral agency.
Moral agency is the ability of a person to be able to see someone who puts others feelings into account when making a decision on what is the right thing to do, which Christopher has made apparent signs of doing. His father gets really upset when Christopher wants to investigate Wellington's death, a neighbor's dog he liked, and when he notices this he decides he should stop talking because he doesn't want him to get even angrier. Christopher has difficult times in understanding the the emotions of others, but he is able to judge the response given. He also comes across his dad tearing and connects that to being sad, "I decided to leave him alone because when I am sad I want to be left alone" (Haddon 21). He bases his decision off of what he...
Cited: Haddon, Mark. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. New York: Vintage, 2003. Print.
Kennett, Jeanette. "Autism, Empathy and Moral Agency." The Philosophical Quarterly 52.208 (2002): 340-57. Print.
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