Moral Psychology and Human Agency: Philosophical Essays on the Science of Ethics

ISBN : 9780198717812

Daniel Jacobson; Justin D'Arms
304 Pages
164 x 240 mm
Pub date
Nov 2014
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These ten original essays examine the moral and philosophical implications of developments in the science of ethics, the growing movement that seeks to use recent empirical findings to answer long-standing ethical questions. Efforts to make moral psychology a thoroughly empirical discipline have divided philosophers along methodological fault lines, isolating discussions that will profit more from intellectual exchange. This volume takes an even-handed approach, including essays from advocates of empirical ethics as well as those who are sceptical of some of its central claims. Some of these essays make novel use of empirical findings to develop philosophical research programs regarding such crucial moral phenomena as desire, emotion, and memory. Others bring new critical scrutiny to bear on some of the most influential proposals of the empirical ethics movement, including the claim that evolution undermines moral realism, the effort to recruit a dual-process model of the mind to support consequentialism against other moral theories, and the claim that ordinary evaluative judgments are seldom if ever sensitive to reasons, because moral reasoning is merely the post hoc rationalization of unthinking emotional response.


1. Introduction
2. Intuitive and Counterintuitive Morality
3. Moral Psychology as Accountability
4. Remnants of Character
5. Knowing What We Are Doing
6. Meta-Cognition, Mind-Reading, and Humean Moral Agency
7. The Episodic Sense of Self
8. The Motivational Theory of Emotions
9. The Reward Theory of Desire in Moral Psychology
10. Does Evolutionary Psychology Show That Normativity Is Mind-Dependent?
11. Sentimentalism and Scientism

About the author: 

Justin D'Arms and Daniel Jacobson are Professors of Philosophy at Ohio State University and the University of Michigan, respectively. They have co-authored ten papers on issues surrounding morality and the emotions, and the sentimentalist tradition in ethics. Their work has been published in a variety of distinguished journals and edited volumes, supported by numerous major grants, and presented in lectures throughout the world.

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