Moral Psychology

Edited by Joshua May (University of Alabama, Birmingham)
About this topic
Summary Moral psychology is the study of phenomena such as moral thought, feeling, reasoning, and motivation. For example, in moral psychology, one wonders what role reasoning and emotions play in generating moral judgment. Similarly, one asks whether moral motivation has its source in reason or rather sentiments or desire. Other key issues include: the tight connection between moral judgment and motivation, altruism versus egoism, character, and even the evolution of moral capacities.  The topics reveal the partly empirical nature of the field, which makes it of necessity interdisciplinary, even though one can pursue many interesting issue from the armchair. Many of these philosophical problems have ramifications in others areas, especially metaethics. If, for example, moral judgment is grounded in sentiment, then this may support a non-cognitivists theory, which threatens moral realism.
Key works Issues in moral psychology have been dominant in the history of philosophy. Nadelhoffer et al 2010 provide a collection of key historical as well as contemporary readings. Focusing on more recent work, Smith's 1994 book has been highly influential in the literature, from moral judgment to motivation. Compare also Nagel 1970 and Korsgaard 1996. On the empirical side, Sinnott-Armstrong 2008 provides a comprehensive state of the art with three volumes full of new articles and replies from prominent philosophers and scientists. 
Introductions A brief introduction to some topics in moral psychology is in Slote 1998. Rosati's (2006) entry on moral motivation provides an introduction to one cluster of key issues in moral psychology. For a way into the empirical work, see Doris & Stich 2008, May 2017, and Doris 2010.
Related categories
Subcategories:See also:History/traditions: Moral Psychology

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  11. Revivals of Non-Cognitivism.Mark Alfano - 2011 - Philosophical Forum 42 (3):330-331.
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    I argue for a basically Sartrean approach to the idea that one's self-concept, and any form of knowledge of oneself as an individual subject, presupposes concepts and knowledge about other things. The necessity stems from a pre-conceptual structure which assures that original self-consciousness is identical with one's consciousness of objects themselves. It is not a distinct accomplishment merely dependent on the latter. The analysis extends the matter/form distinction to concepts. It also requires a distinction between two notions of consciousness: one (...)
  21. Moderating the Relationship Between Price and Perceived Value of Ethical Products.Rafael A. Araque-Padilla, María José Montero-Simó, Pilar Rivera-Torres & Carlos Aragón-Gutiérrez - 2015 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 28 (2):217-230.
    Interest in ethical aspects associated to product acquisition and consumption is a growing trend among consumers. In this context, the concept of “product with ethical attributes” has arisen to refer to products with explicit social and environmental characteristics. However, one of the factors that most hinders the purchasing of these products is certainly price. Given the difficulty of reducing price, the question that arises is the extent to which other product attributes can attenuate the negative impact of price on perceived (...)
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  23. Between Insanity and Love.Ryoko Asai - 2015 - Acm Sigcas Computers and Society 45 (3):154-158.
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    ExcerptI. Introduction The German political philosopher Carl Schmitt belongs to the class of political theorists, who maintain a tradition of separating the political from the moral.1 Drawing on the standard interpretation of Machiavelli2 and following the thinking of Hobbes,3 Schmitt makes two central claims that define his political theorization. The first claim is that the sovereign should possess “the monopoly to decide” what constitutes public order and security; the second claim is the use of the “friend-enemy” metaphor to characterize the (...)
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  31. The Great Depression and the Third World with Special Reference to India.A. K. Bagchi - 1979 - Social Science Information 18 (2):197-218.
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  35. Moral Motivation : A Perspective.Tirthanath Bandyopadhyay - 2003 - In Krishna Roy & Kalyan Sen Gupta (eds.), Theory and Practice: A Collection of Essays. Centre of Advanced Study in Philosophy, Jadavpur University in Collaboration with Allied Publishers, New Delhi.
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  38. On de-Kantianizing the Perfectly Moral Person.Marcia Baron - 1983 - Journal of Value Inquiry 17 (4):281-293.
  39. Mindblindness. An Essay on Autism and Theory of Mind, Cambridge, Mass, MITPTCSS, Tradiit. Dautismo E la Lettura Della Mente, Roma.S. Baron-Cohen - forthcoming - Astrolabio: Revista Internacional de Filosofía.
  40. Autism, Empathizing-Systemizing (Es) Theory, and Pathological Altruism.Simon Baron-Cohen - 2011 - In Barbara Oakley, Ariel Knafo, Guruprasad Madhavan & David Sloan Wilson (eds.), Pathological Altruism. Oxford University Press. pp. 345.
  41. Mindblindness an Essay on Autism and "Theory of Mind".Simon Baron-Cohen - 1995
  42. Bungled Memories.David Bate - 2002 - Angelaki 7 (1):69 – 71.
  43. The Biological Evolution of Cooperation and Trust.Patrick Bateson - 1988 - In Diego Gambetta (ed.), Trust: Making and Breaking Cooperative Relations. Blackwell. pp. 14--30.
  44. Dietary Restriction: Standing Up for Sirtuins.Joseph A. Baur, Danica Chen, Eduardo N. Chini, Katrin Chua, Haim Y. Cohen, Rafael de, Takashi Kadowaki, Daisuke Koya, Christiaan Leeuwenburgh & Michael Mcburney - 2010 - Mind 1020:1017.
  45. Motivational Indeterminacy.Avner Baz - 2016 - European Journal of Philosophy 24 (4).
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  48. A Woman's Scorn: Toward a Feminist Defense of Contempt as a Moral Emotion.Macalester Bell - 2005 - Hypatia 20 (4):80-93.
    In an effort to reclaim women's moral psychology, feminist philosophers have reevaluated several seemingly negative emotions such as anger, resentment, and bitterness. However, one negative emotion has yet to receive adequate attention from feminist philosophers: contempt. I argue that feminists should reconsider what role feelings of contempt for male oppressors and male-dominated institutions and practices should play in our lives. I begin by surveying four feminist defenses of the negative emotions. I then offer a brief sketch of the nature and (...)
  49. A Woman's Scorn: Toward a Feminist Defense of Contempt as a Moral Emotion.Macalester Bell - 2000 - Hypatia 20 (4):80-93.
  50. On the Uncommon Wisdom of Our Lay Personality Theory: A Book Review Essay on Ross & Nisbett, the Person and the Situation: Perspectives of Social Psychology. [REVIEW]Daryl Bem - manuscript
    In The Person and the Situation , Ross and Nisbett seek to answer the question "What have we really learned from social psychology?" They offer their book as a "throwback to a golden age, a tribute to our intellectual forebears and as a 'stand tall and be proud' pep talk for our colleagues (p. xv)." They succeed splendidly on all these counts.
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