Abstract:Moral imagination is a reasoning process thought to counter the organizational factors that corrupt ethical judgment. We describe the psychology of moral imagination as composed of the four decision processes identified by Rest (1986), i.e., moral sensitivity, moral judgment, moral intention, and moral behavior. We examine each process in depth, distilling extant psychological research and indicating organizational implications. The conclusion offers suggestions for future research.The majority of men are subjective toward themselves and objective toward all others—terribly objective sometimes—but the real (...) task is in fact to be objective toward one’s self and subjective toward all others. (shrink)
Malevolence and cruelty are commonly attributed to a failure of moral reasoning or a lack of moral imagination. We present the contrasting viewpoint – immorality as an active, creative, or resourceful act. More specifically, we develop the concept of "immoral imagination" (Jacobs, 1991) and explore how it can enter into Rest's (1986) four processes of decision making: sensitivity, judgment, intention, and implementation. The literature on revenge and workplace deviance illustrates these processes.
Many academics and world leaders have declared that there is a moral imperative to address climate change. But such claims often fall on deaf ears because the nature of the threat posed by global warming lacks many of the features of a paradigmatic moral transgression [Jamieson, Dale. 2007. The moral and political challenges of climate change. Working Paper, New York University, New York]. This paper explores these psychological obstacles to moral engagement about climate change. I argue that the temporal and (...) psychosocial distance of the threat of global warming undermines the kind of affective response that motivates moral concern. I conclude by suggesting that images focusing more on the personal and short-term consequences of global warming will generate stronger moral reactions. (shrink)