Javascript Menu by
MindPapers is now part of PhilPapers: online research in philosophy, a new service with many more features.
 Compiled by David Chalmers (Editor) & David Bourget (Assistant Editor), Australian National University. Submit an entry.
click here for help on how to search

5.1l.1.2. Moral Emotion, Misc (Moral Emotion, Misc on PhilPapers)

Ansell, Nicola & Van Blerk, Lorraine (2005). Joining the conspiracy? Negotiating ethics and emotions in researching (around) AIDS in southern Africa. Ethics, Place and Environment 8 (1):61 – 82.   (Google)
Abstract: Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is an emotive subject, particularly in southern Africa. Among those who have been directly affected by the disease, or who perceive themselves to be personally at risk, talking about AIDS inevitably arouses strong emotions - amongst them fear, distress, loss and anger. Conventionally, human geography research has avoided engagement with such emotions. Although the ideal of the detached observer has been roundly critiqued, the emphasis in methodological literature on 'doing no harm' has led even qualitative researchers to avoid difficult emotional encounters. Nonetheless, research is inevitably shaped by emotions, not least those of the researchers themselves. In this paper, we examine the role of emotions in the research process through our experiences of researching the lives of young AIDS migrants in Malawi and Lesotho. We explore how the context of the research gave rise to the production of particular emotions, and how, in response, we shaped the research, presenting a research agenda focused more on migration than AIDS. This example reveals a tension between universalised ethics expressed through ethical research guidelines that demand informed consent, and ethics of care, sensitive to emotional context. It also demonstrates how dualistic distinctions between reason and emotion, justice and care, global and local are unhelpful in interpreting the ethics of research practice
Ben-Ze'ev, Aaron (2002). Are envy, anger, and resentment moral emotions? Philosophical Explorations 5 (2):148 – 154.   (Google)
Abstract: The moral status of emotions has recently become the focus of various philosophical investigations. Certain emotions that have traditionally been considered as negative, such as envy, jealousy, pleasure-in-others'-misfortune, and pride, have been defended. Some traditionally "negative" emotions have even been declared to be moral emotions. In this brief paper, I suggest two basic criteria according to which an emotion might be considered moral, and I then examine whether envy, anger, and resentment are moral emotions
Ciocchetti, Christopher (2009). Emotions, retribution, and punishment. Journal of Applied Philosophy 26 (2):160-173.   (Google)
Abstract: I examine emotional reactions to wrongdoing to determine whether they offer support for retributivism. It is often thought that victims desire to see their victimizer suffer and that this reaction offers support for retributivism. After rejecting several attempts to use different theories of emotion and different approaches to using emotions to justify retributivism, I find that, assuming a cognitive theory of emotion is correct, emotions can be used as heuristic guides much as suggested by Michael Moore. Applying this method to the actual emotional reactions of victims' relatives, however, does not find support for retributivism. Instead, it suggests punishment should be understood as part of a process of recovery with a complex set of demands. Retributive concerns can play a role in the process, but they don't have the priority that retributivism requires
Cohen, Taya R. (2010). Moral emotions and unethical bargaining: The differential effects of empathy and perspective taking in deterring deceitful negotiation. Journal of Business Ethics 94 (4).   (Google)
Abstract: Two correlational studies tested whether personality differences in empathy and perspective taking differentially relate to disapproval of unethical negotiation strategies, such as lies and bribes. Across both studies, empathy, but not perspective taking, discouraged attacking opponents’ networks, misrepresentation, inappropriate information gathering, and feigning emotions to manipulate opponents. These results suggest that unethical bargaining is more likely to be deterred by empathy than by perspective taking. Study 2 also tested whether individual differences in guilt proneness and shame proneness inhibited the endorsement of unethical bargaining tactics. Guilt proneness predicted disapproval of false promises and misrepresentation. Empathy did not predict disapproval of false promises when guilt proneness was included in the analysis. The comparatively private nature of the sin of false promises suggests that private ethical breaches are more likely to be deterred by anticipated guilt, while ethical breaches with clear interpersonal consequences are more likely to be deterred by empathy
Deonna, Julien A. & Teroni, Fabrice (2008). Differentiating Shame from Guilt. Consciousness and Cognition 17 (4):1063-1400..   (Google)
Abstract: How does shame differ from guilt? Empirical psychology has recently offered distinct and seemingly incompatible answers to this question. This article brings together four prominent answers into a cohesive whole. These are that (a) shame differs from guilt in being a social emotion; (b) shame, in contrast to guilt, affects the whole self; (c) shame is linked with ideals, whereas guilt concerns prohibitions and (d) shame is oriented towards the self, guilt towards others. After presenting the relevant empirical evidence, we defend specific interpretations of each of these answers and argue that they are related to four different dimensions of the emotions. This not only allows us to overcome the conclusion that the above criteria are either unrelated or conflicting with one another, it also allows us to tell apart what is constitutive from what is typical of them.
de Sousa, Ronald (2006). Review of David Pugmire, Sound Sentiments: Integrity in the Emotions. Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2006 (3).   (Google)
Jacobson, Daniel (2008). Review of Berys Gaut, Art, Emotion and Ethics. Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2008 (3).   (Google)
Kristjánsson, Kristján (2005). Justice and desert-based emotions. Philosophical Explorations 8 (1):53 – 68.   (Google)
Abstract: A number of contemporary philosophers have pointed out that justice is not primarily an intellectual virtue, grounded in abstract, detached beliefs, but rather an emotional virtue, grounded in certain beliefs and desires that are compelling and deeply embedded in human nature. As a complex emotional virtue, justice seems to encompass, amongst other things, certain desert-based emotions that are developmentally and morally important for an understanding of justice. This article explores the philosophical reasons for the rising interest in desert-based emotions and offers a conceptual overview of some common emotions of this sort having to do with the fortunes of others and of oneself, respectively. The article does not give a definitive answer to the question of whether those emotions really are virtuous, but aims at enriching our understanding of what kind of virtue they might possibly represent
Nichols, Shaun, Emotions, norms, and the genealogy of fairness.   (Google)
Abstract: In The Grammar of Society, Bicchieri maintains that behavior in the Ultimatum game (and related economic games) depends on people’s allegiance to ‘social norms’. In this article, I follow Bicchieri in maintaining that an adequate account of people’s behavior in such games must make appeal to norms, including a norm of equal division; I depart from Bicchieri in maintaining that at least part of the population desires to follow such norms even when they do not expect others to follow them. This generates a puzzle, however: why do norms of equal division have such cultural resilience? One possibility is that our natural emotional propensity for envy makes norms of equal division emotionally appealing. An alternative (but complementary) possibility is that deviations from a norm of equal division would naturally be interpreted as threats to status, which would facilitate the moralization of such norms
Prinz, Jesse, Is empathy necessary for morality?   (Google)
Abstract: It is widely believed that empathy is a good thing, from a moral point of view. It is something we should cultivate because it makes us better people. Perhaps that’s true. But it is also sometimes suggested that empathy is somehow necessary for morality. That is the hypothesis I want to interrogate and challenge. Not only is there little evidence for the claim that empathy is necessary, there is also reason to think empathy can interfere with the ends of morality. A capacity for empathy might make us better people, but placing empathy at the center of our moral lives may be ill‐advised. That is not to say that morality shouldn’t centrally involve emotions. I think emotions are essential for moral judgment and moral motivation (Prinz, 2007). It’s just that empathetic emotions are not ideally suited for these jobs. Before embarking on this campaign against empathy, I want to say a little more about the target of the attack. What is empathy? And what would it mean to say empathy is necessary for morality? With respect to the first question, much has been written. Theories of empathy abound. Batson et al. (1995: 1042) define empathy as, “as an other‐oriented emotional response congruent with the perceived welfare of another person.” This is not the definition I will be using. Batson’s construct might be better characterized as “concern,” because of its focus on another person’s welfare. Indeed, in much of his research he talks about “empathetic concern.” Notice that this construct seems to be a combination of two separable things. Being concerned for someone is worrying about their welfare, which is something one can do even if one doesn’t feel what it would be like to be in their place. One can have concern for a plant, for example, and an insect, or even an artifact, like a beautiful building that has into disrepair. Empathy, seems to connote a kind of feeling that has to be at last possible for the object of empathy. If so, “empathetic concern” combines two different things—a find of feeling‐for an object and a feeling‐on‐behalf‐of an object. Much of the empirical literature, including the superb research that Batson has done, fails to isolate these components, and, as a result, some of the existing studies are confounded. They purport to show the value of empathy, but may really show the value of concern. My focus below will be on empathy, and I leave it as an open possibility that concern is highly important, if not necessary, for morality. Indeed, concern often seems to involve an element kind of moral anger, which I will argue is very important to morality. It is also important to distinguish empathy from sympathy. Suppose I feel outraged for someone who has been brainwashed into thinking she should follow a cult leader who is urging mass suicide. That would not necessarily qualify as empathy. As Darwall (1998: 261) points out, sympathy is a third‐person emotional response, whereas empathy involves putting oneself in another person’s shoes. But 1 Darwall’s definition is also somewhat problematic. He says, “Empathy consists in feeling what one imagines he feels, or perhaps should feel (fear, say), or in some imagined copy of these feelings, whether one comes thereby to be concerned … or not.” This definition has two features, which I would like to avoid. First, the appeal to imagination seems overly intellectual. Imagination sounds like a kind of mental act that requires effort on the part of the imaginer. As Darwell recognizes, empathy in its simplest form empathy is just emotional contagion: catching the emotion that another person feels (Hatfield et al., 1994; Hoffman, 2000). It seems inflated to call contagion an imaginative act. Also, I want to resist Darwall’s application of “empathy” to cases where one has a feeling that someone should feel, but does not feel. The problem is that this tends to blur the distinction between empathy and sympathy. Suppose I encounter a member of a cult who is delighted by the cult leader’s nefarious plans. The cult member should by afraid, but is not. If I feel fear on the cult member’s behalf, that is not putting myself in the cult member’s shoes. As I will use the term, empathy requires a kind of emotional mimicry. I do not wish to imply that empathy is always an automatic process, in the way that emotional contagion is. Sometimes imagination is requires, and sometimes we experience emotions that we think someone would be experiencing, even if we have not seen direct evidence that the emotion is, in fact, being experienced. For example, one might feel empathetic hope for a marathon runner who is a few steps behind the runner is first place, or anxiety for the first place runner, and the second place runner catches up. We can experience these feelings even if the runners’ facial expressions reveal little more than muscular contortions associated with concentration and physical exertion. A situation can reveal a feeling. The core idea, as I will use the term, is that empathy is a kind of vicarious emotion: it’s feeling what one takes another person to be feeling. And the “taking” here can be a matter of automatic contagion or the result of a complicated exercise of the imagination. I don’t think there is anything anachronistic about this notion of empathy. I think it has a long tradition in moral philosophy, even though the term “empathy” is only 100 years old. The British moralists, including David Hume and Adam Smith, used “sympathy” in way that is similar to the way I want to use “empathy.” Here is Smith (1759: II.i): “Whatever is the passion which arises from any object in the person principally concerned, an analogous emotion springs up, at the thought of his situation, in the breast of every attentive spectator.” My question, in the pages that follow, is whether empathy so‐defined is necessary for morality. I should note again, in advance, that the empirical literature does not always distinguish between the constructs I have been discussing, but I do think that all the studies I discuss below can, by inference at least, shed some light on empathy as defined here. The suggestion that empathy is necessary for morality can be interpreted in at least three different ways. One might hold the view that empathy is necessary for making moral judgment. One might think empathy is necessary for moral development. And one might think empathy is necessary for motivating moral conduct. I think each of these conjectures is false. Empathy is not necessary for any of these things. We can have moral systems without empathy. Of course, it doesn’t follow directly that empathy should be eliminated from morality. One might think the modal question—Can there be morality without empathy?—and the related....
Pugmire, David (2002). Narcissism in emotion. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 1 (3).   (Google)
Abstract:   Emotion is always someone's. An emotion is also, at least typically, about something and witnesses the value, or lack of value, in it. Some emotions, such as shame and pride, are actually about the self that has them. But self-concern can insinuate itself into every corner of the emotional life. This occurs when the centre of concern in emotion drifts from the ostensible objects of focus (I was sorry to hear your bad news) to the emotion itself, to the drama of it, to its feel, to the fact that one is having it. In an unobvious way, the world becomes backdrop, the self the omnipresent protagonist. The apparent ordering, the natural ordering of subject and object in emotion, is inverted. Emotion undergoes a kind of commodification. Yet this is paradoxical. For it isolates the self and subverts the communication and uptake of emotion by others. Narcissism is inimical to the social character of emotion
Rodogno, Raffaele (2009). Shame, guilt, and punishment. Law and Philosophy 28 (5):429-464.   (Google)
Abstract: The emotions of shame and guilt have recently appeared in debates concerning legal punishment, in particular in the context of so called shaming and guilting penalties. The bulk of the discussion, however, has focussed on the justification of such penalties. The focus of this article is broader than that. My aim is to offer an analysis of the concept of legal punishment that sheds light on the possible connections between punishing practices such as shaming and guilting penalties, on the one hand, and emotions such as guilt, shame, and perhaps humiliation, on the other. I␣contend that this analysis enhances our understanding of the various theories of punishment that populate this part of criminal law theory and thereby sharpens the critical tools needed to assess them. My general conclusion is that, in different ways, all of the theories we encounter in this area can benefit from paying renewed attention to the nature of the connection between the state’s act of punishing and its expected or perceived emotional effect on the individual
Ross, Steven L. (1984). Evaluating the emotions. Journal of Philosophy 81 (6):309-326.   (Google | More links)
Salmela, Mikko (2005). What is emotional authenticity? Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 35 (3):209–230.   (Google | More links)
Solomon, Robert C. (ed.) (2004). Thinking About Feeling: Contemporary Philosophers on Emotions. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 10 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Philosophers since Aristotle have explored emotion, and the study of emotion has always been essential to the love of wisdom. In recent years Anglo-American philosophers have rediscovered and placed new emphasis on this very old discipline. The view that emotions are ripe for philosophical analysis has been supported by a considerable number of excellent publications. In this volume, Robert Solomon brings together some of the best Anglo-American philosophers now writing on the philosophy of emotion, with chapters from philosophers who have distinguished themselves in the field of emotion research and have interdisciplinary interests, particularly in the social and biological sciences. The reader will find a lively variety of positions on topics such as the nature of emotion, the category of "emotion," the rationality of emotions, the relationship between an emotion and its expression, the relationship between emotion, motivation, and action, the biological nature versus social construction of emotion, the role of the body in emotion, the extent of freedom and our control of emotions, the relationship between emotion and value, and the very nature and warrant of theories of emotion. In addition, this book acknowledges that it is impossible to study the emotions today without engaging with contemporary psychology and the neurosciences, and moreover engages them with zeal. Thus the essays included here should appeal to a broad spectrum of emotion researchers in the various theoretical, experimental, and clinical branches of psychology, in addition to theorists in philosophy, philosophical psychology, moral psychology, and cognitive science, the social sciences, and literary theory
Solomon, Robert C. (2007). True To Our Feelings: What Our Emotions Are Really Telling Us. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Abstract: We live our lives through our emotions, writes Robert Solomon, and it is our emotions that give our lives meaning. What interests or fascinates us, who we love, what angers us, what moves us, what bores us--all of this defines us, gives us character, constitutes who we are. In True to Our Feelings, Solomon illuminates the rich life of the emotions--why we don't really understand them, what they really are, and how they make us human and give meaning to life. Emotions have recently become a highly fashionable area of research in the sciences, with brain imaging uncovering valuable clues as to how we experience our feelings. But while Solomon provides a guide to this cutting-edge research, as well as to what others--philosophers and psychologists--have said on the subject, he also emphasizes the personal and ethical character of our emotions. He shows that emotions are not something that happen to us, nor are they irrational in the literal sense--rather, they are judgements we make about the world, and they are strategies for living in it. Fear, anger, love, guilt, jealousy, compassion--they are all essential to our values, to living happily, healthily, and well. Solomon highlights some of the dramatic ways that emotions fit into our ethics and our sense of the good life, how we can make our emotional lives more coherent with our values and be more "true to our feelings" and cultivate emotional integrity. The story of our lives is the story of our passions. We fall in love, we are gripped by scientific curiosity and religious fervor, we fear death and grieve for others, we humble ourselves in envy, jealousy, and resentment. In this remarkable book, Robert Solomon shares his fascination with the emotions and illuminates our passions in an exciting new way
Starkey, Charles (2008). Emotion and full understanding. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 11 (4).   (Google)
Abstract:  Aristotle has famously made the claim that having the right emotion at the right time is an essential part of moral virtue. Why might this be the case? I consider five possible relations between emotion and virtue and argue that an adequate answer to this question involves the epistemic status of emotion, that is, whether the perceptual awareness and hence the understanding of the object of emotion is like or unlike the perceptual awareness of an unemotional awareness of the same object. If an emotional awareness does not have a unique character, then it is unlikely that emotions provide an understanding that is different from unemotional states of awareness: they are perhaps little more than “hot-blooded” instances of the same understanding. If, on the other hand, an emotional state involves a perceptual awareness that is unique to the emotion, then emotions are cognitively significant, providing an understanding of the object of the emotion that is absent in a similar but unemotional episode of awareness. I argue the latter and substantiate the claim that emotions are essential to moral virtue because they can be essential to a full understanding of the situations that they involve. In such cases, emotions are not merely a symptom of the possession of an adequate understanding, but are rather necessary for having an adequate understanding
Tiwald, Justin (2010). Dai Zhen on Sympathetic Concern. Journal of Chinese Philosophy 37 (1):76-89.   (Google)
Abstract: I argue that Dai Zhen’s account of sympathetic concern is distinguished from other accounts of sympathy (and empathy) by several features, the most important of which are the following: First, he sees the awareness of our similarities to others as a necessary condition for sympathy but not a constituent of it. Second, the relevant similarities are those that our grounded in our common status as living creatures, and not in our common powers of autonomy or other traits that are often taken to be distinguishing features of persons. Finally, Dai thinks that when we properly sympathize with others, we value their well-being in a way that mimics the way we value our own. This last feature helps to explain two important claims about the place of sympathy in moral action: that it necessarily requires perspective-taking (at least with respect to most other human beings), and that it provides indirect motives to be virtuous, which even imperfect moral agents can draw upon. In the course of making my argument, I identify salient differences between Dai’s variant of sympathy and some of its closest relatives, including Aristotelian pity and Buddhist compassion.