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 moralpsychology, 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 moralpsychology 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). (shrink)
Recent work in various branches of philosophy has reinvigorated debate over the psychology behind moral judgment. Using Marc Hauser's categorization of theories as “Kantian,” “Humean,” or “Rawlsian” to frame the discussion, I argue that the existing evidence weighs against the Kantian model and partly in favor of both the Humean and the Rawlsian models. Emotions do play a causal role in the formation of our moral judgments, as the Humean model claims, but there are also unconscious principles (...) shaping our moral judgments, as the Rawlsian model predicts. Thus, Hauser's tripartite division of possible models of moralpsychology is inadequate. Drawing on research in cognitive neuroscience, clinical and behavioral psychology, and psychopathology, I sketch a new, developmental sentimentalist model of moralpsychology. I call it a “Mencian” model, after the Confucian philosopher Mencius. On this model, moral judgments are caused by emotions, but because of the way emotions are mapped onto particular actions, moral judgments unconsciously reflect certain principled distinctions. (shrink)
This paper draws from the resources of Iris Murdoch''s moral philosophy to analyze the ethical status of the emotions at two related levels of reflection. Methodologically, it argues that a recovery of the emotions requires a revised notion of moral theory which affirms the basic orientation of consciousness to some notion of value or the good. Such a theory challenges many of the rationalist premises which in the past have led moral theory to reject the role of (...) emotions in ethics. In particular, it acknowledges the centrality of moralpsychology to ethics and reclaims the notion of consciousness rather than the will as the primary mode of human moral being. At a second, more substantive level, the paper explores the relation between the emotions and consciousness. Specifically, it defends a cognitivist and reflexive theory of the emotions which affirms a strong relation between the emotions and our evaluative beliefs. On this view, the emotions reflexively mediate our relation to objective value. In order to earn their cognitive status, however, the emotions must be tested in relation to a critical principle in order to guard against the egoistic tendencies of consciousness to build up images of reality to serve its own purposes. Therefore, a theory of the Good must be part of the critical content of a reflexive theory of the emotions. (shrink)
In this article, I focus on two claims made by Appiah in Experiments in Ethics: Doris’s and Harman’s criticism of virtue ethics fails, and moralpsychology can be used to identify erroneous moral intuitions. I argue that both claims are erroneous.
Moral exemplar studies of computer and engineering professionals have led ethics teachers to expand their pedagogical aims beyond moral reasoning to include the skills of moral expertise. This paper frames this expanded moral curriculum in a psychologically informed virtue ethics. Moralpsychology provides a description of character distributed across personality traits, integration of moral value into the self system, and moral skill sets. All of these elements play out on the stage of (...) a social surround called a moral ecology. Expanding the practical and professional curriculum to cover the skills and competencies of moral expertise converts the classroom into a laboratory where students practice moral expertise under the guidance of their teachers. The good news is that this expanded pedagogical approach can be realized without revolutionizing existing methods of teaching ethics. What is required, instead, is a redeployment of existing pedagogical tools such as cases, professional codes, decision-making frameworks, and ethics tests. This essay begins with a summary of virtue ethics and informs this with recent research in moralpsychology. After identifying pedagogical means for teaching ethics, it shows how these can be redeployed to meet a broader, skills based agenda. Finally, short module profiles offer concrete examples of the shape this redeployed pedagogical agenda would take in the practical and professional ethics classroom. (shrink)
Philosophical tradition has long held that free will is necessary for moral responsibility. We report experimental results that show that the folk do not think free will is necessary for moral responsibility. Our results also suggest that experimental investigation of the relationship is ill served by a focus on incompatibilism versus compatibilism. We propose an alternative framework for empirical moralpsychology in which judgments of free will and moral responsibility can vary independently in response to (...) many factors. We also suggest that, in response to some factors, the necessity relation may run from responsibility to free will. (shrink)
Bargaining games typically involve two players distributing a specific payoff (usually money), and will be our focus here, as they are especially helpful for examining the moralpsychology of justice. Examples include the ultimatum game and dictator game. We will also look at a novel twist on the dictator game by the psychologist Daniel Batson, which has fostered a large experimental literature on what he calls ‘moral hypocrisy.’ Finally we will connect this discussion of economic games to (...) the virtue of justice and to other personality traits such as agreeableness, honesty-humility, and justice sensitivity. (shrink)
Contemporary moralpsychology has been enormously enriched by recent theoretical developments and empirical findings in evolutionary biology, cognitive psychology and neuroscience, and social psychology and psychopathology. Yet despite the fact that some theorists have developed specifically “social heuristic” (Gigerenzer, 2008) and “social intuitionist” (Haidt, 2007) theories of moral judgment and behavior, and despite regular appeals to the findings of experimental social psychology, contemporary moralpsychology has largely neglected the social dimensions of (...) class='Hi'>moral judgment and behavior. I provide a brief sketch of these dimensions, and consider the implications for contemporary theory and research in moralpsychology. (shrink)
Many philosophers assume that philosophical theories about the psychological nature of moral judgment can be confirmed or disconfirmed by the kind of evidence gathered by natural and social scientists (especially experimental psychologists and neuroscientists). I argue that this assumption is mistaken. For the most part, empirical evidence can do no work in these philosophical debates, as the metaphorical heavy-lifting is done by the pre-experimental assumptions that make it possible to apply empirical data to these philosophical debates. For the purpose (...) of this paper, I emphasize two putatively empirically-supported theories about the psychological nature of moral judgment. The first is the Sentimental Rules Account, which is defended by Shaun Nichols. The second is defended by Jesse Prinz, and is a form of sentimentalist moral relativism. I show that both of the arguments in favour of these theories rely on assumptions which would be rejected by their philosophical opponents. Further, these assumptions carry substantive moral commitments and thus cannot be confirmed by further empirical investigation. Because of this shared methodological assumption, I argue that a certain form of empirical moralpsychology rests on a mistake. (shrink)
The contribution of healthcare ethics committee (HEC) members to HECs is fundamental. However, little is known about how HEC members view clinical ethics. We report results from a qualitative study of the moralpsychology of HEC members. We found that contrary to the existing Kohlberg-based studies, HEC members hold a pragmatic non-expert view of clinical ethics based mainly on respect for persons and a commitment to the patient’s good. In general, HEC members hold deflationary views regarding moral (...) theory. Ethical principles are not abstract foundations but the expression of moral commitments to patients that pre-exist awareness of moral theory. Emotions and proximity to patient sufferance fundamentally shape the views of HEC members on clinical ethics. Further work at the intersection of clinical ethics and qualitative research could bring to the foreground lay perspectives on moral problems that may differ from bioethics expert views. (shrink)
One aspect of J. Baird Callicott’s foundational project for ecocentrism consists in explaining how moral consideration for ecological wholes can be grounded in moral sentiments. Some critics of Callicott have objected that moral consideration for ecological wholes is impossible under a sentimentalist conception of ethics because, on both Hume and Smith’s views, sympathy is our main moral sentiment and it cannot be elicited by holistic entities. This conclusion is premature. The relevant question is not whether such (...)moral consideration is compatible with the moral psychologies elaborated by Hume and Smith themselves, but, rather, whether it is possible given the moralpsychology human beings actually possess. To answer this question, we must turn to empirical moralpsychology and consider the possibility of a sentimentalist ecocentrism based on the community, autonomy, divinity model, a very promising model of human moralpsychology developed by psychologists Richard Shweder, Paul Rozin, and Jonathan Haidt. This model can be used to assess the possibility of grounding ecocentrism in human moral sentiments. In light of this assessment, ecocentrism should be understood as a new form of naturalistic ethics informed by the moral emotions of disgust, shame, awe, and wonder. (shrink)
Section 1 of this essay distinguishes between four interpretations of Socratic intellectualism, which are, very roughly: a version in which on any given occasion desire, and then action, is determined by what we think will turn out best for us, that being what we all, always, really desire; a version in which on any given occasion action is determined by what we think will best satisfy our permanent desire for what is really best for us; a version formed by the (...) assimilation of to, labelled the ‘standard’ version’ by Thomas C. Brickhouse and Nicholas D. Smith, and treated by them as a single alternative to their own interpretation; and Brickhouse and Smith’s own version. Section 2 considers, in particular, Brickhouse and Smith’s handling of the ‘appetites and passions’, which is the most distinctive feature of interpretation. Section 3 discusses Brickhouse and Smith’s defence of ‘Socratic studies’ in its historical context, and assesses the contribution made by their distinctive interpretation of ‘the philosophy of Socrates’. One question raised in this section, and one that is clearly fundamental to the existence of ‘Socratic studies’, is how different Brickhouse and Smith’s Socrates turns out to be from Plato himself, i.e., the Plato of the post-‘Socratic’ dialogues; to which the answer offered is that on Brickhouse and Smith’s interpretation Socratic moralpsychology becomes rather less distinguishable from its ‘Platonic’ counterpart—as that is currently understood—than it is on the interpretation they oppose. (shrink)
Rather than “selfishness,” a more accurate and revealing interpretation of Wang's use of siyuis “self-centeredness.” One of the main goals in Wang's model of moral cultivation was to attain a state devoid of self-centered desires. Wang relied a great deal on the exercise and cultivation of an emotional identification and feeling of oneness with others. In this paper, I first provide a brief summary of the role of Wang's concept of siyu in his moralpsychology. I then (...) examine key passages in Wang's writings that reveal his nuanced understanding of siyu and, along the way, I draw on empirical research in psychology to help illuminate the significance of Wang's view of siyu to his overall model of moral cultivation. (shrink)
This book provides a rich, systematic, and accessible introduction to moralpsychology, aimed at undergraduate philosophy and psychology majors. There are eight chapters, in addition to a short introduction, prospective conclusion, and extensive bibliography. The recipe for each chapter will be: a) to introduce a philosophical topic (e.g., altruism, virtue, preferences, rules) and some prominent positions on it, without assuming prior acquaintance on the part of the reader b) to canvass and explain the relevance of a particular (...) domain of empirical inquiry (e.g., evolutionary psychology, behavioral economics, neuroscience) to the topic c) to argue for some tentative conclusions about the topic d) to suggest further avenues for conceptual and empirical research The guiding theme of the book is that moral philosophy without psychological content is empty, whereas psychological investigation without philosophical insight is blind. Thus, I advocate a holistic approach that pictures moralpsychology as a project of collaborative inquiry into the descriptive and normative aspects of the human condition. Ideally, students will come away from (a course built around) the book with the sense that, though philosophy may not be the queen of the sciences, its role is not merely to interpret scientific results. (shrink)
This book brings together in one volume some of the very latest developments in moralpsychology that were presented at a major American conference in 2004. Moralpsychology is a broad area at the intersection of moral philosophy and philosophy of mind and action. Essays in this collection deal with most of the central issues in moralpsychology that are of interest to a large number of philosophers today, including important questions in normative (...) ethical theory, meta-ethics, and applied ethics. (shrink)
Philosophers have discussed virtue and character since Socrates, but many traditional views have been challenged by recent findings in psychology and neuroscience. This fifth volume of MoralPsychology grows out of this new wave of interdisciplinary work on virtue, vice, and character. It offers essays, commentaries, and replies by leading philosophers and scientists who explain and use empirical findings from psychology and neuroscience to illuminate virtue and character and related issues in moral philosophy. The contributors (...) discuss such topics as eliminativist and situationist challenges to character; investigate the conceptual and empirical foundations of self-control, honesty, humility, and compassion; and consider whether the virtues contribute to well-being. (shrink)
Moral functioning is a defining feature of human personhood and human social life. MoralPsychology provides an integrative and evaluative overview of the theoretical and empirical traditions that have attempted to make sense of moral cognition, prosocial behavior, and the development of virtuous character.This is the first book to integrate a comprehensive review of the psychological literatures with allied traditions in ethics. Moral rationality and decisionmaking; the development of the sense of fairness and justice, and (...) of prosocial dispositions; as well as the notion of moral self and moral identity and their relation to issues of character and virtue are fully discussed in the rich contexts provided by psychological and philosophical paradigms. Lapsley emphasizes parenting and educational strategies for influencing moral behavior, reasoning, and character development, and charts a line of research for the “post-Kohlbergian era” in moralpsychology.This book will be an invaluable text for advanced courses in moralpsychology, as taught in departments of psychology, education, and philosophy. It will also prove to be a standard reference work for researchers and ethicists alike. (shrink)
Moral judgment and behavior are uniquely resistant to psychological analysis because morality generally is defined in terms that do not admit of psychological predication. Principal among these is the idea of freedom. An agent can act morally only on the condition that it is also free to do otherwise. The respective theoretical premises of C. Sunstein and E. Brunswik are contrasted in order to suggest that Brunswikian theory constitutes a distinct and highly promising new approach to the psychology (...) of moral judgment. 2012 APA, all rights reserved). (shrink)
This book examines what makes someone an evil person and how evil people are different from merely bad people. Rather than focusing on the "problem of evil" that occupies philosophers of religion, Barry looks instead to moralpsychology—the intersection of ethics and psychology. He provides both a philosophical account of what evil people are like and considers the implications of that account for social, legal, and criminal institutions. He also engages in traditional philosophical reasoning strongly informed by (...) psychological research, especially abnormal and social psychology. In response to the popularity of phrases like "the axis of evil" and the ease with which politicians and others describe their opponents as "evil," Barry sets out to make clear just what it is to be an evil person. (shrink)
The essays in this collection are concerned with the psychology of moral agency. They focus on moral feelings and moral motivation, and seek to understand the operations and origins of these phenomena as rooted in the natural desires and emotions of human beings. An important feature of the essays, and one that distinguishes the book from most philosophical work in moralpsychology, is the attention to the writings of Freud. Many of the essays draw (...) on Freud's ideas about conscience and morality, while several explore the depths and limits of Freud's theories. An underlying theme of the volume is a critique of influential rationalist accounts of moral agency. John Deigh shows that one can subject the principles of morality to rational inquiry without thereby holding that reason alone can originate action. (shrink)
The MoralPsychology Handbook offers a comprehensive discussion of how the human mind influences, and is influenced by, human morality. Each chapter is a collaborative effort, covering major issues in moralpsychology, written by leading researchers in both philosophy and psychology.
_Moral Psychology: Historical and Contemporary Readings_ is the first book to bring together the most significant contemporary and historical works on the topic from both philosophy and psychology. Provides a comprehensive introduction to moralpsychology, which is the study of psychological mechanisms and processes underlying ethics and morality Unique in bringing together contemporary texts by philosophers, psychologists and other cognitive scientists with foundational works from both philosophy and psychology Approaches moralpsychology from an (...) empirically informed perspective Explores a wide range of topics from passion and altruism to virtue and responsibility Editorial introductions to each section explain the background of and connections between the selections. (shrink)
This paper considers John Doris, Stephen Stich, Alexandra Plakias, and colleagues’ recent attempts to utilize empirical studies of cross-cultural variation in moral judgment to support a version of the argument from disagreement against moral realism. Crucially, Doris et al. claim that the moral disagreements highlighted by these studies are not susceptible to the standard ‘diffusing’ explanations realists have developed in response to earlier versions of the argument. I argue that plausible hypotheses about the cognitive processes underlying ordinary (...)moral judgment and the acquisition of moral norms, when combined with a popular philosophical account of moral inquiry—the method of reflective equilibrium—undercut the anti-realist force of the moral disagreements that Doris et al. describe. I also show that Stich's recent attempt to provide further theoretical support for Doris et al.'s case is unsuccessful. (shrink)
What is the relationship between the self and society? Where do moral judgments come from? As Blakey Vermeule demonstrates in The Party of Humanity, such questions about sociability and moral philosophy were central to eighteenth-century writers and artists. Vermeule focuses on a group of aesthetically complicated moral texts: Alexander Pope's character sketches and Dunciad , Samuel Johnson's Life of Savage, and David Hume's self-consciously theatrical writings on pride and his autobiographical writings on religious melancholia. These writers and (...) their characters confronted familiar social dilemmas--sexual desire, gender identity, family relations, cheating, ambition, status, rivalry, and shame--and responded by developing a practical ethics about their own behavior at the same time that they refined their moral judgments of others. The Party of Humanity frames its discussion about emotions, social conflict, and aesthetics within two broad theories: the emerging field of evolutionary psychology and Kantian moral philosophy. By studying how eighteenth-century Britons experienced the demands of their social identities, Vermeule argues, we can better understand the most salient problems facing moral philosophy today--the issue of self-interest and the question of how moral norms are shaped by social agendas. (shrink)
Although linguistic nativism has received the bulk of attention in contemporary innateness debates, moral nativism has perhaps an even deeper ancestry. If linguistic nativism is Cartesian, moral nativism is Platonic. Moral nativism has taken a backseat to linguistic nativism in contemporary discussions largely because Chomsky made a case for linguistic nativism characterized by unprecedented rigor. Hence it is not surprising that recent attempts to revive the thesis that we have innate moral knowledge have drawn on Chomsky’s (...) framework. I’ll argue, however, that the recent attempts to use Chomsky-style arguments in support of innate moral knowledge are uniformly unconvincing. The central argument in the Chomskian arsenal, of course, is the Poverty of the Stimulus (POS) argument. In section 1, I will set out the basic form of the POS argument and the conclusions about domain specificity and innate propositional knowledge that are supposed to follow. In section 2, I’ll distinguish 3 hypotheses about innateness and morality: rule nativism, moral principle nativism, and moral judgment nativism. In sections 3-5 I’ll then consider each of these hypotheses in turn. I’ll argue that while there is some reason to favor rule nativism, the arguments that moral principles and moral judgment derive from innate moral knowledge don’t work. The capacity for moral judgment is better explained by appeal to innate affective systems rather than innate moral knowledge. In the final section, I’ll suggest that the role of such affective mechanisms in structuring the mind complicates the standard picture about poverty of the stimulus arguments and nativism. For the affective mechanisms that influence cognitive structures can make contributions that are neither domain general nor domain specific. (shrink)
The MoralPsychology Handbook is a contribution to a relatively new genre of philosophical writing, the “handbook.” In the first section, I comment on an expectation about handbooks, namely that handbooks contain works representative of a field, and raise concerns about The MoralPsychology Handbook in this regard. In the rest of the article I comment in detail on two Handbook articles, “Moral Motivation” by Timothy Schroeder, Adina Roskies, and Shaun Nichols, and “Character” by Maria (...) W. Merritt, John M. Doris, and Gilbert Harman. Both articles illustrate the perils as well as the promise of reliance on empirical studies for philosophers who work in moralpsychology. (shrink)
One of the reasons why there is no Hegelian school in contemporary ethics in the way that there are Kantian, Humean and Aristotelian schools is because Hegelians have been unable to clearly articulate the Hegelian alternative to those schools’ moral psychologies, i.e., to present a Hegelian model of the motivation to, perception of, and responsibility for moral action. Here it is argued that in its most basic terms Hegel's model can be understood as follows: the agent acts in (...) a responsible and thus paradigmatic sense when she identifies as reasons those motivations which are grounded in his or her talents and support actions that are likely to develop those talents in ways suggested by his or her interests. (shrink)
Understanding the role of emotion in reasoned, deliberate choice -- particularly moral experience -- requires three components: Meta-emotion, allowing self-generated voluntary imagery and/or narratives that in turn trigger first-order emotions we may not already have, but would like to have for moral or other reasons. Hardwired mammalian altruistic sentiments, necessary but not sufficient for moral motivation. Neuropsychological grounding for what Hume called 'love of truth,' with two important effects in humans: generalization of altruistic feelings beyond natural sympathy (...) for conspecifics; and motivation to inquire into moral/political/psychological truth without automatic, a priori commitment to specific action tendencies -- to avoid trivializing ethical and social choices. After deliberation, the desired behaviour is then triggered by using meta-emotion and voluntary imagery to 'pull up' and habituate the needed first-order emotions. The neuropsychological basis for Hume's 'love of truth' is traced to Panksepp's 'seeking system' in combination with some prefrontal executive capacities. (shrink)
Much of the philosophical attention directed to pride focuses on the normative puzzle of determining how pride can be both a central vice and a central virtue. But there is another puzzle, a descriptive puzzle, of determining how the emotion of pride and the character trait of pride relate to each other. A solution is offered to the descriptive puzzle that builds upon the accounts of Hume and Gabriele Taylor, but avoids the pitfalls of those accounts. In particular, the emotion (...) and the trait correspond to two employments of personal ideals: personal ideals as standards of self-assessment and personal ideals as practical guides in one’s deliberation and related activities. This account, in turn, provides a framework for solving the normative puzzle. (shrink)
I contend that there are two dogmas that are still popular among philosophers of action: that agents can only desire what they think is good and that they can only intentionally pursue what they think is good. I also argue that both dogmas are false. Broadly, I argue that our best theories of action can explain the possibility of intentionally pursuing what one thinks is not at all good, that we need to allow for the possibility of intentionally pursuing what (...) one think is not at all good, and that if we can intentionally pursue what we think is not at all good then we can desire it on similar grounds. (shrink)
The MoralPsychology Handbook offers a survey of contemporary moralpsychology, integrating evidence and argument from philosophy and the human sciences. The chapters cover major issues in moralpsychology, including moral reasoning, character, moral emotion, positive psychology, moral rules, the neural correlates of ethical judgment, and the attribution of moral responsibility. Each chapter is a collaborative effort, written jointly by leading researchers in the field.
This volume considers challenges to forgiveness in the most difficult circumstances, such as in criminal justice contexts, when the victim is dead or when bystanders disagree, and when anger and resentment seem preferable and important.
“Moral Character: An Empirical Theory” and “Character and MoralPsychology” represent part of the research output of the Templeton-funded Character Project, which was headed by Christian Miller. In ‘Moral Character’, Miller develops his “mixed trait” account of character. The first two parts consist in conceptual background and the empirical grounding for his account . In part three Miller develops and describes his account, before showing the extent of its application in part four . In ‘Character and (...)MoralPsychology”, he gives the reader more details about the metaphysics of his view , places it in relation to other accounts of character and personality , shows the normative and meta-ethical implications of his account , and opens a discussion of what could follow from his account in terms of improving character .The first thing to note about these books is the impressive rang .. (shrink)
Suggests that contemporary marriage is at the heart of a serious cultural paradox that renders it strongly valued, but rather brittle. Scientific and therapeutic approaches to this dilemma have had limited success in resolving this problem because professionals have accepted and promoted the popular aspiration of personal fulfillment through marriage, which may have engendered the fragility of marriage. The author provides a brief hermeneutic account designed to make the incoherence of contemporary marriage more intelligible, and to clarify the moral (...) dimension of psychology. Marital research illustrates how a hermeneutic perspective can guide a specific research domain in becoming more responsive to the essential social and ethical concerns that animate it. Suggestions for how researchers can explore why marriage is so central to modern life are offered. 2012 APA, all rights reserved). (shrink)
Examines the moral obligations of psychology. An inquiry into the main priorities of academic and professional psychology suggests that contributions to human welfare, its preeminent moral obligation, comes in third after guild issues and professional self-interest, and the pursuit of knowledge. In an effort to reassign moral philosophy a place of prominence and to broaden the ethical discourse of psychology, the authors use the term "moral imperative" . The promotion of the MI entails (...) the exploration of 3 fundamental questions. These concern the extent that the present social order promotes human welfare for everyone, the extent that psychology supports or challenges the present social order, and the contributions that psychology can make to the advent of the "good" society. The MI advances 4 human agency values: self-determination, distributive justice, collaborative and democratic participation, and relationality. 2012 APA, all rights reserved). (shrink)
Moralpsychology studies the features of cognition, judgement, perception and emotion that make human beings capable of moral action. Perspectives from feminist and race theory immensely enrich moralpsychology. Writers who take these perspectives ask questions about mind, feeling, and action in contexts of social difference and unequal power and opportunity. These essays by a distinguished international cast of philosophers explore moralpsychology as it connects to social life, scientific studies, and literature.
Justice for children meets specific obstacles when it comes to its realization due not only to the nature of rights and the peculiarities of children as subjects of rights. The conflict of interests between short-term and long-term aims, and the different interpretations a state can do on the question concerning how to materialize social rights policies and how to interpret its commitments on social justice play also a role. Starting by the question on why the affluent states do not seem (...) to be motivated enough to fully assume those duties of justice toward children —derived form recognizing children’s rights—, this article aims to explore and shed light on what psychology of motivation and moralpsychology, and positive approaches could offer in relation to political and ethical challenges toward childhood. Hence this article advocates for the modification and enrichment of the philosophical discourse on children’s rights with what psychology has proved to have a more efficient impact in agents’ action and motivation. In doing so, practical philosophy could improve its role helping understand and eventually surpassing some akratic tendencies in the public sphere with respect to children’s rights. (shrink)
A study of fundamental issues in metaethics and in moralpsychology, surveying important approaches with an emphasis on the disputed status of moral value and the roles of cognition and sensibility. Coverage of the issues includes discussion of significant thinkers from antiquity to the present.
Normativity and the Will collects fourteen important papers on moralpsychology and practical reason by R. Jay Wallace, one of the leading philosophers currently working in these areas. The papers explore the interpenetration of normative and psychological issues in a series of debates that lie at the heart of moral philosophy. Themes that are addressed include reason, desire, and the will; responsibility, identification, and emotion; and the relation between morality and other normative domains. Wallace's treatments of these (...) topics are at once sophisticated and engaging. Taken together, they constitute an advertisement for a distinctive way of pursuing issues in moralpsychology and the theory of practical reason, and they articulate and defend a unified framework for thinking about those issues. The volume also features a helpful new introduction. (shrink)
Experimental research in moralpsychology can be used to generate debunking arguments in ethics. Specifically, research can indicate that we draw a moral distinction on the basis of a morally irrelevant difference. We develop this naturalistic approach by examining a recent debate between Joshua Greene and Selim Berker. We argue that Greene's research, if accurate, undermines attempts to reconcile opposing judgments about trolley cases, but that his attempt to debunk deontology fails. We then draw some general lessons (...) about the possibility of empirical debunking arguments in ethics. (shrink)
Saṃvega is a morally motivating state of shock that -- according to Buddhaghosa -- should be evoked by meditating on death. What kind of mental state it is exactly, and how it is morally motivating is unclear, however. This article presents a theory of saṃvega -- what it is and how it works -- based on recent insights in psychology. According to dual process theories there are two kinds of mental processes organized in two" systems" : the experiential, automatic (...) system 1, and the rational, controlled system 2. In normal circumstances, system 1 does not believe in its own mortality. Saṃvega occurs when system 1 suddenly realizes that the "subjective self" will inevitably die (while system 2 is already disposed to affirm the subject's mortality). This results in a state of shock that is morally motivating under certain conditions. Saṃvega increases mortality salience and produces insight in suffering, and in combination with a strengthened sense of loving-kindness or empathic concern both mortality salience and insight in suffering produce moral motivation. (shrink)
Lawrence Kohlberg slayed the two dragons of twentieth-century psychology?behaviorism and psychoanalysis. His victory was a part of the larger cognitive revolution that shaped the world in which all of us study psychology and education today. But the cognitive revolution itself was modified by later waves of change, particularly an ?affective revolution? that began in the 1980s and an ?automaticity revolution? in the 1990s. In this essay I trace the history of moralpsychology within the broader intellectual (...) trends of psychology and I explain why I came to believe that moralpsychology had to change with the times. I explain the origins of my own social intuitionist model and of moral foundations theory. I offer three principles that I think should characterize moralpsychology in the twenty-first century: (1) Intuitions come first, strategic reasoning second, (2) There?s more to morality than harm and fairness and (3) Morality binds and blinds. (shrink)
This article is intended as an initial investigation into the foundations of moralpsychology. I primarily examine a recent work in moral education, Daniel Lapsley?s and Darcia Narvaez?s ?Character education?, whose authors seem to assume at points that criteria for discerning moral actions and moral traits can be derived apart from ethics or moral philosophy. This assumption, which appears to stem from misconceptions about both the virtues traditionally understood and the non-empirical nature of (...) class='Hi'>moral-philosophical theorising, is problematic: (1) it courts moral relativism, which would preclude arguing for the superiority of any model of moral education, (2) deriving or validating a morality through empirical methods involves a self-undermining stance about the nature of empirical justification and (3) empirical criteria used to delineate morality are unavoidably arbitrary. After examining similarly problematic works by David Wong and Lawrence Kohlberg, I conclude that moral psychologists must wrestle with the problem of moral criteria through substantive engagement with moral philosophy. (shrink)