A cognitive approach to the 'happy victimiser'

Journal of Moral Education 41 (4):491-508 (2012)

The happy victimiser phenomenon has puzzled many researchers in the field of moral development. After having learnt and internalised what is morally right and wrong, young children tend to attribute positive feelings to observed models of their age who explicitly harm other children. This has been mainly explained as a lack of moral motivation or an insufficiently developed moral self. On both accounts, happy victimising is seen as an educational problem and understood in terms of a gap between moral judgement and moral action. Against this view an alternative interpretation is suggested, namely to understand the happy victimiser as a particular form of moral reasoning, to the effect that there is no gap (at least not between moral judgement and moral motivation). From an educational point of view this relativises the whole HV problem. Consequences concerning the proper role of a ?moral self? as well as educational implications are discussed
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/03057240.2012.700893
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 46,238
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Beyond Moral Reasoning.Dan Freeman - 2008 - Business Ethics Quarterly 18 (4):513-540.
Compassion and Beyond.Roger Crisp - 2008 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 11 (3):233-246.

View all 17 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

What’s Wrong with Morality?C. Daniel Batson - 2011 - Emotion Review 3 (3):230-236.
The Harm of Immorality.Paul Bloomfield - 2008 - Ratio 21 (3):241-259.
Principle-Based Moral Judgement.Maike Albertzart - 2013 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (2):339-354.
Hegel’s Critique of Kant’s Moral World View.Kenneth R. Westphal - 1991 - Philosophical Topics 19 (2):133-176.
Virtue Ethics, Theory, and Warrant.Garrett Cullity - 1999 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 2 (3):277-294.
Moral Choice and Education.Daniel Pekarsky - 1983 - Journal of Moral Education 12 (1):3-13.


Added to PP index

Total views
15 ( #588,603 of 2,285,775 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #573,699 of 2,285,775 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes

Sign in to use this feature