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Moral Sentimentalism

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2014)

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  1. The Contribution of Empathy to Ethics.Sarah Songhorian - 2019 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 27 (2):244-264.
    ABSTRACTEmpathy has been taken to play a crucial role in ethics at least since the Scottish Enlightenment. More recently, a revival of moral sentimentalism and empirical research on moral behavior has prompted a renewed interest in empathy and related concepts and on their contribution to moral reasoning and to moral behavior. Furthermore, empathy has recently entered our public discourse as having the power to ameliorate our social and political interactions with others.The aim of this paper is to investigate the extent (...)
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  • Teaching Applied Ethics to the Righteous Mind.Peter Murphy - 2014 - Journal of Moral Education 43 (4):413-428.
    What does current empirically informed moral psychology imply about the goals that can be realistically achieved in college-level applied ethics courses? This paper takes up this question from the vantage point of Jonathan Haidt’s Social Intuitionist Model of human moral judgment. I summarize Haidt’s model, and then consider a variety of pedagogical goals. I begin with two of the loftiest goals of ethics education, and argue that neither is within realistic reach if Haidt’s model is correct. I then look at (...)
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  • Two Perspectives on Animal Morality.Adam M. Willows & Marcus Baynes-Rock - 2018 - Zygon 53 (4):953-970.
    Are animals moral agents? In this article, a theologian and an anthropologist unite to bring the resources of each field to bear on this question. Alas, not all interdisciplinary conversations end harmoniously, and after much discussion the two authors find themselves in substantial disagreement over the answer. The article is therefore presented in two halves, one for each side of the argument. As well as presenting two different positions, our hope is that this article clarifies the different understandings of morality (...)
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  • The Heart of Compassion in Mengzi 2A6.Dobin Choi - 2019 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 18 (1):59-76.
    This essay examines the structural position of Mengzi’s 孟子 heart of compassion within his theoretical goal of teaching moral self-cultivation. I first investigate Kim Myeong-seok’s account that views ceyin zhi xin as a higher cognitive emotion with a concern-based construal. I argue that Kim’s conclusion is not sufficiently supported by the text of the Mengzi, but is also tarnished by the possibility of constructing a noncognitivist counter-theory of ceyin zhi xin. Instead, I suggest that David Hume’s causation-based approach to sentiment (...)
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  • Moral Realism and the Existence of God: Improving Parfit’s Metaethics.Martin Jakobsen - 2020 - Leuven, Belgia: Peeters.
    Can there be an objective morality without God? Derek Parfit argues that it can and offers a theory of morality that is neither theistic nor naturalistic. This book provides a critical assessment of Parfit's metaethical theory. Jakobsen identifies some problems in Parfit’s theory – problems concerning moral normativity, the ontological status of morality, and evolutionary influence on our moral beliefs – and argues that theological resources can help solve them. By showing how Parfit’s theory may be improved by the help (...)
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  • Emotions as indeterminate justifiers.András Szigeti - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):1-23.
    Sentimentalists believe that values are crucially dependent on emotions. Epistemic sentimentalists subscribe to what I call the final-court-of-appeal view: emotional experience is ultimately necessary and can be sufficient for the justification of evaluative beliefs. This paper rejects this view defending a moderate version of rationalism that steers clear of the excesses of both “Stoic” rationalism and epistemic sentimentalism. We should grant that emotions play a significant epistemic role in justifying evaluations. At the same time, evaluative justification is not uniquely or (...)
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  • Moral Rationalism on the Brain.Joshua May - forthcoming - Mind and Language.
    I draw on neurobiological evidence to defend the rationalist thesis that moral judgments are essentially dependent on reasoning, not emotions (conceived as distinct from inference). The neuroscience reveals that moral cognition arises from domain-general capacities in the brain for inferring, in particular, the consequences of an agent’s action, the agent’s intent, and the rules or norms relevant to the context. Although these capacities entangle inference and affect, blurring the reason/emotion dichotomy doesn’t preferentially support sentimentalism. The argument requires careful consideration of (...)
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  • Moral Perception.Preston J. Werner - 2020 - Philosophy Compass 15 (1).
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  • Adam Smith's Sentimentalist Conception of Self-Control.Lauren Kopajtic - 2020 - The Adam Smith Review 12:7-27.
    A recent wave of scholarship has challenged the traditional way of understanding of self-command in Adam Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments as ‘Stoic’ self-command. But the two most thorough alternative interpretations maintain a strong connection between self-command and rationalism, and thus apparently stand opposed to Smith’s overt allegiance to sentimentalism. In this paper I argue that we can and should interpret self-command in the context of Smith’s larger sentimentalist framework, and that when we do, we can see that self-command is (...)
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  • Affordances and the Normativity of Emotions.Rebekka Hufendiek - 2017 - Synthese 194 (11):4455-4476.
    The normativity of emotions is a widely discussed phenomenon. So far embodied accounts have not paid sufficient attention to the various aspects of the normativity of emotions. In this paper it shall be pointed out that embodied accounts are constrained in the way they can account for the normativity of emotions due to their commitments to naturalism, externalism, and anti-vehicle-internalism. One way to account for the normativity of emotions within a naturalist framework is to describe the intentional objects of emotions (...)
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  • Metaethical Minimalism: A Demarcation, Defense, and Development.Aaron Franklin - 2020 - Dissertation, University of California, Santa Cruz
    The aim of this work is to demarcate, develop, and defend the commitments and consequences of metaethical minimalism. Very roughly, this is the position that a commitment to objective moral truths does not require any accompanying ontological commitments. While there are few, if any, who call themselves “metaethical minimalists”, I endeavor to uncover existing articulations of metaethical minimalism which have been presented under different names, attempting to identify the common ground between them. As I interpret the position, all metaethical minimalists (...)
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  • Transcendental Sentimentalism.Aaron Franklin - manuscript
    Broadly construed, moral sentimentalism is the position that human emotions or sentiments play a crucial role in our best normative or descriptive accounts of moral value or judgments thereof. In this paper, I introduce and sketch a defense of a new form of moral sentimentalism I call “Transcendental Sentimentalism”. According to transcendental sentimentalism, having a sentimental response to an object is a necessary condition of the possibility of a subject counting as having non-inferential evaluative knowledge about that object. In unpacking (...)
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  • The Prosocial Roots of Children's Developing Morality.Anja Kaßecker - 2020 - Dissertation, Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München
    According to many scholars, prosociality, in particular altruism and empathic concern, is considered an important motivational factor both in adulthood and in the development of morality. So far, a large number of studies have addressed the development of children’s first-party prosociality and their third-party understanding of moral norms separately. In particular, there is much evidence that during the second year of life, young children develop empathic concern and sympathy for others in need in prosocial situations. Moreover, recent findings suggest that (...)
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  • Subjective Moral Biases & Fallacies: Developing Scientifically & Practically Adequate Moral Analogues of Cognitive Heuristics & Biases.Mark H. Herman - 2019 - Dissertation, Bowling Green State University
    In this dissertation, I construct scientifically and practically adequate moral analogs of cognitive heuristics and biases. Cognitive heuristics are reasoning “shortcuts” that are efficient but flawed. Such flaws yield systematic judgment errors—i.e., cognitive biases. For example, the availability heuristic infers an event’s probability by seeing how easy it is to recall similar events. Since dramatic events, such as airplane crashes, are disproportionately easy to recall, this heuristic explains systematic overestimations of their probability (availability bias). The research program on cognitive heuristics (...)
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  • What Is Sentimentalism? What Is Rationalism? Commentary on Joshua May.Antti Kauppinen - 2019 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 42:e157.
    In Regard for Reason in the Moral Mind, Joshua May argues successfully that many claims about the causal influence of affect on moral judgment are overblown. But the findings he cites are compatible with many of the key arguments of philosophical sentimentalists. His account of rationalism, in turn, relies on an overly broad notion of inference, and leaves open crucial questions about how we reason to moral conclusions.
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  • Rationalism Vs. Sentimentalism: Reviewing Price's Review.Jonas Olson - 2014 - Philosophical Papers 43 (3):429-445.
    This paper revisits Richard Price’s Review of the Principal Questions in Morals. Price was a defender of rationalism about ethics and he anticipated many views and arguments that became influential as the metaethical and ethical debates evolved over the later centuries. The paper explores and assesses Price’s arguments in favour of rationalism and against sentimentalism, with a view to how they bear on the modern metaethical debate.
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  • Moral Sentimentalism in Counterfactual Contexts: Moral Properties Are Response-Enabled.Daniel Dohrn - 2018 - Philosophia 46 (1):69-82.
    According to moral sentimentalism, there are close connections between moral truths and moral emotions. Emotions largely form our moral attitudes. They contribute to our answerability to moral obligations. We take them as authoritative in guiding moral judgement. This role is difficult to understand if one accepts a full-blown moral realism, according to which moral truths are completely independent of our emotional response to them. Hence it is tempting to claim that moral truths depend on our emotional responses. I outline a (...)
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  • Assessing Recent Agent-Based Accounts of Right Action.Graham Renz - 2020 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 23 (2):433-444.
    Agent-based virtue ethical theories must deal with the problem of right action: if an action is right just in case it expresses a virtuous motive, then how can an agent perform the right action but for the wrong reason, or from a vicious motive? Some recent agent-based accounts purport to answer this challenge and two other related problems. Here I assess these accounts and show them to be inadequate answers to the problem of right action. Overall, it is shown that (...)
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  • Commentary: Primary Emotional Systems and Personality: An Evolutionary Perspective.Simone Pollo - 2018 - Frontiers in Psychology 8.
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  • Apes with a Moral Code? Primatology, Moral Sentimentalism, and the Evolution of Morality in The Planet of the Apes.Carron Paul - 2015 - Journal of Cognition and Neuroethics 3 (3):1-26.
    This essay examines the recent Planet of the Apes films through the lens of recent research in primatology. The films lend imaginary support to primatologist Frans de Waal’s evolutionary moral sentimentalism; however, the movies also show that truly moral motions outstrip the cognitive capacities of the great apes. The abstract moral principles employed by the ape community in the movie require the ability to understand and apply a common underlying explanation to perceptually disparate situations; in contrast, recent research in comparative (...)
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  • Racismo E Emoções.Flavio Williges - 2018 - Dissertatio 47 (S6):49-68.
    Apesar do racismo ser um fenômeno social amplo, seu estudo filosófico ainda está longe de constituir uma tradição de pesquisa no Brasil. Esse ensaio pretende contribuir para a superação desse estado de coisas a partir de uma análise filosófico-moral do racismo. Partindo da identificação das reações emocionais relatadas em entrevistas por jogadores de futebol brasileiros e da análise da obra Recordações do Escrivão Isaías Caminha do escritor Lima Barreto, eu identifico um conjunto de emoções comuns em contextos de ofensa racial, (...)
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