Moral psychology as accountability

In Justin D'Arms & Daniel Jacobson (eds.), Moral Psychology and Human Agency: Philosophical Essays on the Science of Ethics. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. pp. 40-83 (2014)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Recent work in moral philosophy has emphasized the foundational role played by interpersonal accountability in the analysis of moral concepts such as moral right and wrong, moral obligation and duty, blameworthiness, and moral responsibility (Darwall 2006; 2013a; 2013b). Extending this framework to the field of moral psychology, we hypothesize that our moral attitudes, emotions, and motives are also best understood as based in accountability. Drawing on a large body of empirical evidence, we argue that the implicit aim of the central moral motives and emotions is to hold people - whether oneself or others - accountable for compliance with the demands of morality. Moral condemnation is based in a motive to get perpetrators to hold themselves accountable for their wrongdoing, not, as is commonly supposed, a mere retributive motive to make perpetrators suffer (�2). And moral conscience is based in a genuine motive to hold oneself accountable for behaving in accordance with moral demands, not, as is commonly supposed, a mere egoistic motive to appear moral to others (�3). The accountability-based theory of the moral motives and emotions we offer provides better explanations of the extant empirical data than any of the major alternative theories of moral motivation. Moreover, conceiving of moral psychology in this way gives us a new and illuminating perspective on what makes morality distinctive: its essential connection to our practice of holding one another accountable (�4).

Links

PhilArchive

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

A Puzzle Concerning Gratitude and Accountability.Robert H. Wallace - 2022 - The Journal of Ethics 26 (3):455–480.
Attributability, Accountability, and Implicit Bias.Robin Zheng - 2016 - In Michael Brownstein & Jennifer Saul (eds.), Implicit Bias and Philosophy, Volume 2: Moral Responsibility, Structural Injustice, and Ethics. Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press UK. pp. 62-89.
Moral Rebukes and Social Avoidance.Linda Radzik - 2014 - Journal of Value Inquiry 48 (4):643-661.
Compunction, Second-Personal Morality, and Moral Reasons.Dale E. Miller - 2018 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 21 (3):719-733.
Moral Accountability.Marina Oshana - 2004 - Philosophical Topics 32 (1-2):255-274.
Shame and the Scope of Moral Accountability.Shawn Tinghao Wang - 2021 - Philosophical Quarterly 71 (3):544-564.
The Structure of Accountability: An Analysis Applied to Animals.Carl Hammer - 2016 - Journal of Philosophical Research 41:151-174.
Motive and Rightness.Steven Sverdlik - 2011 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press UK.
Moral Responsibility Reconsidered.Gregg D. Caruso & Derk Pereboom - 2022 - Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Derk Pereboom.

Analytics

Added to PP
2014-11-06

Downloads
1,504 (#7,776)

6 months
257 (#11,396)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author Profiles

Stephen Darwall
Yale University
Brendan de Kenessey
University Of Toronto

Citations of this work

Virtue Signaling and Moral Progress.Evan Westra - 2021 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 49 (2):156-178.
Sex By Deception.Berit Brogaard - 2022 - In Manuel Vargas & John Doris (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Moral Psychology. Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press. pp. 683-711.

View all 9 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references