Moral Psychology

Moral Psychology : A Contemporary Introduction

4.25 (24 ratings by Goodreads)
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This is the first philosophy textbook in moral psychology, introducing students to a range of philosophical topics and debates such as: What is moral motivation? Do reasons for action always depend on desires? Is emotion or reason at the heart of moral judgment? Under what conditions are people morally responsible? Are there self-interested reasons for people to be moral? Moral Psychology: A Contemporary Introduction presents research by philosophers and psychologists on these topics, and addresses the overarching question of how empirical research is (or is not) relevant to philosophical inquiry.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 242 pages
  • 156 x 235 x 13.72mm | 386g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 3 Tables, black and white
  • 0415529697
  • 9780415529693
  • 335,367

Table of contents


Part One: Moral Psychology and Moral Philosophy

What Is Moral Psychology?

What is moral psychology?

Distinguishing the questions

Distinguishing psychological states

Structure and aims of the book:

What Are Philosophers Doing Here?

Moral Agents or Blobs of Flesh

Moral Realism and the Challenge from Evolution

Responses to the Challenge

Moral Psychology and Moral Philosophy

Part Two: Motivation and Moral Motivation: The Basics

Moral Motivation: what it is and what it isn't

Moral Theories and Moral Motivation

The Challenge of Psychological Egoism

Psychological Egoism and Empirical Research

Taking Stock

Desires and Reasons

Some Background Distinctions

Reasons internalism and externalism

The Humean Theory of Motivation

Taking Stock

Part Three: Moral Motivation

Emotion & Moral Judgment

What is an emotion?

Emotions and Moral Judgment

Amoralists, Psychopaths and the Debate Between Moral Judgment Internalism and Externalism

Taking Stock

Sentimentalism and Rationalism:

Rationalism and Sophisticated Sentimentalism

The Kantian Challenge to Sophisticated Sentimentalism

The Empirical Threat to Rationalism

Taking Stock


What kind of state is a virtue?

Are there any virtues?: The empirical challenge

Defending Virtue

Taking Stock

Part Four: Agency and Moral Responsibility

The Psychology of the Responsible Agent


Real Self Theories

Normative Competence

Are we Competent?: Challenges from Psychology

Moral Responsibility, Free Will and Determinism

Free Will and Determinism

Intuitions and Experimental Philosophy

Libertarianism and the Challenge from Neuroscience

Can I Be Excused?

Part Five: Three Big Questions

Should I be moral?: Well-being and the good life

Prudential Reasons and 'Good For'

Theories of Well-Being

Psychological Evidence for the Well-being - Morality Link


How do we know what is morally right?: Moral psychology and moral knowledge

The Attack on Intuitions: Biases and Trolley-ology

Intuitions, Intuitionism and Reflective Equilibrium

Can you get an ought from an is?

Is and Ought: A Complex Relationship

Reducing Ought to Is

Final Thoughts
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Review quote

"The best imaginable introduction to moral psychology. Unrivaled in clarity and scope, Tiberius offers a seamless and stimulating integration of cutting edge empirical research and foundational philosophical theories."

-Jesse Prinz, City University of New York Graduate Center

"Valerie Tiberius's book is an instant classic-the definitive introductory textbook on philosophical moral psychology. It is wide-ranging and authoritative, synthesizing an enormous amount of information, both scientific and philosophical. It's also a lot of fun. With her trademark wit and levelheadedness, Tiberius introduces readers to moral philosophy's most challenging problems and explains how recent scientific discoveries are casting these old problems in a new light. This book is beautifully written, filled with colorful examples that convey Tiberius' hard-won insights. Each of these chapters is fascinating in its own right, and together they tell a remarkable story that is just beginning. It's hard to imagine a better introduction to this exciting and rapidly advancing field."

-Joshua Greene, Harvard University

"This is the only text of which I'm aware-the very first one-on moral psychology. It addresses issues at the intersection of agency and normativity. It is a lively, well-written, thoughtful book that is perfect for upper-division undergraduate courses. It is also a good book to bring graduate students and even scholars up to speed on the issues in this area. Highly recommended."

-John Martin Fischer, University of California, Riverside

"Several recent volumes offer collections of readings in the exciting interdisciplinary field of moral psychology, and lots more courses now cover the difficult questions arising at the intersection of philosophy (meta-ethics, moral theory, action theory) and psychology (and other mind sciences). But until now, there has been no text to introduce students to these questions or to guide them through these readings. Valerie Tiberius is an intelligent, clear, and engaging guide. In Moral Psychology: A Contemporary Introduction, she covers a wide range of topics, including moral motivation, virtue, well-being and responsibility, and she manages both to present competing views fairly and to take a stand on which views she favors. Students will learn a great deal from this book. I certainly did."

-Eddy Nahmias, Georgia State University
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About Valerie Tiberius

Valerie Tiberius is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Minnesota
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Rating details

24 ratings
4.25 out of 5 stars
5 50% (12)
4 38% (9)
3 0% (0)
2 12% (3)
1 0% (0)
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