Conscience – an essay in moral psychology

Philosophy 84 (4):477-494 (2009)
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Abstract

The ultimate aim of this essay is to suggest that conscience is a very important part of human psychology and of our moral point of view, not something that can be dismissed as merely ‘a part of Christian theology’. The essay begins with discussions of what might be regarded as the two most influential functional models of conscience, the classical Christian account of conscience and the Freudian account of conscience. Then, using some insights from these models, and from some comparatively recent work in psychology and especially psychiatry, the author argues for a quite different model of conscience that might be called the personal integrity account of conscience.

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