Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 18 (2):223-235 (2015)

M.m.s.k. Sie
Erasmus University Rotterdam
According to some, contemporary social psychology is aptly described as a study in moral hypocrisy. In this paper we argue that this is unfortunate when understood as establishing that we only care about appearing to act morally, not about true moral action. A philosophically more interesting interpretation of the “moral hypocrisy”-findings understands it to establish that we care so much about morality that it might lead to self-deception about the moral nature of our motives and/or misperceptions regarding what we should or should not do in everyday or experimental situations. In this paper we argue for this claim by elaborating on a fascinating series of experiments by Daniel Batson and his colleagues who have consistently contributed to the moral hypocrisy findings since the late nineties, and showing in what way they contribute to a better understanding of moral agency, rather than undermine the idea that we are moral agents.
Keywords Moral hypocrisy  Self-deception  Acting for reasons  Moral agency  Daniel Batson
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DOI 10.1007/s10677-015-9574-8
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References found in this work BETA

Unprincipled Virtue.Nomy Arpaly - 2003 - The Journal of Ethics 8 (2):201-204.
Moral Masquerades: Experimental Exploration of the Nature of Moral Motivation.C. Daniel Batson - 2008 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 7 (1):51-66.
Moral Agency, Conscious Control, and Deliberative Awareness.Maureen Sie - 2009 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 52 (5):516-531.

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Citations of this work BETA

Getting Less Cynical About Virtue.Joshua May - 2017 - In Walter Sinnott-Armstrong & Christian Miller (eds.), Moral Psychology, Volume V: Virtue and Character. MIT Press. pp. 45-52.

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