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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
Buddhists consider fear to be a root of suffering. In Chapters 2 and 7 of the Bodhicaryāvatāra, Śāntideva provides a series of provocative verses aimed at inciting fear to motivate taking refuge in the Bodhisattvas and thereby achieve fearlessness. This article aims to analyze the moralpsychology involved in this transition. It will structurally analyze fear in terms that are grounded in, and expand upon, an Abhidharma Buddhist analysis of mind. It will then contend that fear, taking refuge, (...) and fearlessness are complex intentional attitudes and will argue that the transition between them turns on relevant changes in their intentional objects. This will involve analyzing the object of fear into four aspects and 'taking refuge' as a mode of trust that ameliorates these four aspects. This analysis will also distinguish two modes of taking refuge and show the progressive role each might play in the transition from fear to fearlessness. (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)
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)
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)
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)
This paper is going to re-read Imam Mohammad al-Ghazali’s moral ideas in order to find the responses to the questions of moralpsychology. Al-Ghazali, following the Greek and Islamic philosophers, relates each virtue or vice to a particular faculty in man’s soul. Moreover, following the Asharites, he considers the basis of moral good and badness to be religious. Furthermore, having mentioned al-Ghazali and Hume’s opinions as well as their similarities, this writing explains why al-Ghazali’s view on (...) the moral motivation has not encountered Hume’s objections. And finally, it presents the differences between al-Ghazali and the Greek philosophers’ views on virtues and vices as well as evaluates al-Ghazali’s psychological opinions in ethics. (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)
The MoralPsychology of Anger is the first comprehensive study of the moralpsychology of anger from a philosophical perspective. The collection provides an inclusive view of anger from a variety of philosophical perspectives.
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)
In modern moral philosophy, virtue ethics has developed into one of the major approaches to ethical inquiry. As it seems, however, it is faced with a kind of perplexity similar to the one that Elisabeth Anscombe has described in Modern moral philosophy with regard to ethics in general. For if we assume that Anscombe is right in claiming that virtue ethics ought to be grounded in a sound philosophy of psychology, modern virtue ethics seems to be baseless (...) since it lacks or even avoids reflections on the human soul. To overcome this difficulty, the paper explores the conceptual connections between virtue and soul in Aristotle's ethics. It claims that the human soul is the principle of virtue since reflections on the soul help us to define the nature of virtue, to understand the different kinds of virtues, and to answer the question why human beings need the virtues at all. (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)
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)
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)
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)
We argue that many of the benefits theorists have attributed to the ability to forget should instead be attributed to what psychologists call the “fading affect bias,” namely the tendency for the negative emotions associated with past events to fade more substantially than the positive emotions associated with those events. Our principal contention is that the disposition to display the fading affect bias is normatively good. Those who possess it tend to lead better lives and more effectively improve their societies. (...) Secondarily, we note that if Julia Driver’s moral theory is correct, then the disposition to display the fading affect bias is a moral virtue. (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 aim of this paper is to review current debate about the moral domain in the moral psychological literature. There is some vagueness in respect to the usage of the very concept of ‘morality’. This conceptual problem recently has been re-addressed by several authors. So far, there is little agreement, nobody seems to agree about how to delineate the moral domain from other ‘non-moral’ normative domains. Currently, there are several positions that disagree about the scope of (...) morality, ranging from complete monists to complete pluralists. The paper will review these positions and will tentatively suggest further directions to test their claims. At this moment, there is no decisive evidence for either position. (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)
We explore the central analogy behind Mengzi’s view of ethical cultivation. -/- Philosophers sometimes ask what makes a person’s life worthwhile or what conditions make for a good life. Mengzi’s answer involves cultivating our innate moral senses into fully ripened virtues of ren (humaneness), yi (rightness), li (propriety), and zhi (wisdom). This cultivation neither is individualistic nor can it happen in isolation: it requires a lifetime of meaningful interactions with other people. In short, one’s ethical cultivation is interdependent with (...) other people, one’s social environment, and whether (and how well) one reflects on the stirrings of their sprouts and extends their previous moral behavior to the current situation. (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)
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)
Compassion is widely regarded as an important moral emotion – a fitting response to various cases of suffering and misfortune. Yet contemporary theorists have rarely given it sustained attention. This volume aims to fill this gap by offering answers to a number of questions surrounding this emotion. These questions include: What is the nature of compassion? How does compassion differ from other emotions, such as empathy, pity, or gratitude? Is compassion a virtue? Can we have too much compassion? How (...) does compassion influence other mental states (desires, motivations, beliefs, and intentions) and behaviour? How is compassion influenced by the environment? Must compassion be deserved? Can one be moral while lacking the capacity for compassion? -/- Compassion, like other emotions, has many facets – biological, social, psychological and neural, among others. The contributors to this volume will draw on a variety of disciplines and methods in order to develop a more systematic and comprehensive understanding of this often-neglected moral emotion. (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)
Mengzi (372–289 BCE), or Mencius, an early Confucian whose thinking is represented in the eponymous Mengzi, argues that human nature is good and that all human beings possess four senses—the feelings of compassion, shame, respect, and the ability to approve and disapprove—which he variously calls “hearts” or “sprouts.” Each sprout may be cultivated into its corresponding virtue of ren, li, yi, or zhi. -/- Here we explore why Mengzi thinks we possess these four hearts and their relation to the cultivated (...) virtues. (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)
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.