David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Moral Education 34 (1):43-55 (2005)
There has been a trend in contemporary ethics to believe that a morally admirable agent would feel negative self?assessing emotions following even the best possible choice in a moral dilemma. A commonly held reason for holding this position is that agents who are well?brought up are trained to feel negative self?assessing emotions when they do something morally forbidden under ordinary circumstances, and that agents acting for the best in a dilemma will nonetheless recognize their deed as morally forbidden. I challenge this view and reach the conclusion that without the further notion that the agent morally failed, negative self?assessing emotions ought to be discouraged in favour of emotions such as grief and sadness, which are negative and self?conscious, but not self?assessing. I then offer some cognitive strategies moral educators could impart to help persons feel emotions that better reflect the nuances of moral dilemmas
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