Emotions and moral motivation

One question in moral psychology concerns the role of emotions to motivate moral action. This question has recently become more urgent, because it is now clearer that cognitive developmental theories cannot offer a complete explanation of moral functioning. This paper suggests that emotion, as is typically understood in psychology, cannot be seen as the basis for an acceptable explanation of moral behaviour and motivation. However, it is argued that it is possible to understand emotions as embedded in agentic processes, and regulated by conscious concerns. So understood, emotions acquire an important role in the person's moral life. These conclusions are reached through an extensive review of psychological and philosophical conceptions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved)
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