A discussion on the influence of moral psychology in determining moral responsibility and punishment

Moral reasoning

They present compelling evidence that group-based shame is most likely elicited when a threatened shared identity is salient—that is, when concerns about maintaining a positive group identity arise. As Watson points out, it may make no sense to hold the agent responsible for the action in question, since it may not be the sort of thing for which they are accountable to us.

Alternatively, guilt and its attendant empathic focus on the harmed other may be less relevant to transgressions, such as drunk driving, that typically do not result in objective physical harm to others.

And what changes do children go through in their behaviour and thinking when faced with moral dilemmas? In a study of children, Ferguson et al. Shame—and, shame-fused guilt—offers little opportunity for redemption.

In this phase people also stop believing in the idea of immanent justice. Retrieved 11 Oct This link between what you see around you and what you do yourself underpins many of the concerns people have about violence on television, although this remains a controversial topic in both public and academic debate.

Moral behaviour

The resurgence of interest in metaphysical treatments of freedom and moral responsibility in recent years is a sign that most have not been persuaded by his most radical critique of such approaches. Andrewshas examined the link between childhood abuse and body shame see below. In sum, the findings regarding the relationship between childhood abuse and subsequent difficulties with shame are mixed, no doubt due in part to the fact that studies have employed different measures and conceptualizations of both maltreatment and shame Berliner That is, the magnitude of consequences of an automobile accident is potentially huge, whereas the probability of its occurrence on any given occasion is rather small.

In one famous series of experiments in the s, for example, Albert Bandura demonstrated that children who observed an adult behaving aggressively towards an inflatable toy doll were more likely to reproduce that aggressive behaviour themselves.

Linking moral emotions to risky, illegal, and otherwise inadvisable behavior Because shame and guilt are painful emotions, it is often assumed that they motivate individuals to avoid doing wrong.

This is either because it is not psychologically possible to divest ourselves of these reactions and so continually inhabit the objective standpoint, or even if that were possible, because it is not clear that rationality could ever demand that we give up the reactive attitudes, given the loss in quality of life should we do so.

Moral Responsibility

For example, a systematic analysis of the social context of personal shame- and guilt-eliciting events described by several hundred children and adults Tangney et al. As with personal guilt experiences, group-based guilt has been associated with empathy Zebel et al.

Moral emotions represent an important but often overlooked element of our human moral apparatus. Punishment and Responsibility, New York: In an effort to reconcile these perspectives, Tangney argued that earlier work failed to take into account the distinction between guilt and shame.

We have already seen an example of cultural differences in how children respond to moral dilemmas, and some researchers have even argued that boys and girls are brought up to have different moral orientations.

On the one hand, shame corresponds with attempts to deny, hide, or escape the shame-inducing situation. It is worth noting, however, that in most scenario-based measures of shame and guilt including the Test of Self-Conscious Affect, or TOSCAthe majority of situations are relatively ambiguous regarding responsibility or culpability.

Moral Emotions and Moral Behavior

Though this brand of fatalism has sometimes exerted significant historical influence, most philosophers have rejected it on the grounds that there is no good reason to think that our futures are fated in the sense that they will unfold no matter what particular deliberations we engage in, choices we make, or actions we perform.

The self-disclosure aspect of the attributability model is reflected in emphasizing that the target of appraisal must be judgment-sensitive. Finally, we discuss briefly a morally relevant emotional process—other-oriented empathy. There are at least two possibilities: Given the above, Strawson contends that it is pointless to ask whether the practice of holding responsible can be rationally justified if determinism is true.

However, a number of authors have suggested of late that at least some disagreements about the most plausible overall theory might be based on a failure to distinguish between different but related concepts of responsibility.

Strawson was certainly amongst those who made this assumption in trying to adjudicate the dispute between those compatibilists who held the consequentialist view of responsibility and incompatibilists who held the merit-based view.

Notably, some accounts of responsibility make no essential reference to the reactive attitudes or their accompanying practices.

Incompatibilists, in particular, seem largely unpersuaded and so have continued to assume a more or less traditional merit-based conception of moral responsibility as the basis for their theorizing.

Another frequently cited distinction between shame and guilt focuses on the public versus private nature of transgressions e. People may experience anger for a very broad range of situations—e. Culture and the quest for universal principals in moral reasoning.

Retrieved 19 December Brink, David and Nelkin, Dana, The interpersonal emphasis characteristic of Strawson-inspired accountability models is reflected in the demand for justification though answerability theorists tend to reject a necessary connection between these demands and the reactive attitudes.

Moral intuition is therefore the psychological process that the Scottish philosophers talked about, aprocess akin to aesthetic judgment.

That is, unlike most former consequentialist forms of compatibilism, it helps to explain why we feel that some agents deserve our censure or merit our praise. Responsibility, Character, and the Emotions, New York: Furthermore, the link between anger and shame is evident when considering vicarious shame Iyer et al.By talking to children, observing their natural behaviours, and analyzing their responses to moral dilemmas, psychologists have demonstrated that a wide variety of social, cognitive, and emotional factors are involved in children’s moral development.

POINT IS== moral responsibility is a part of our daily human lives. the role it plays is important for human functioning and the logic realm is beside the point.

virtue and vice indirect passions, direct passion is where your will comes from, all mental content is an impression or an idea. Wright, J. C., & Baril, G. (). The role of cognitive resources in determining our moral intuitions: Are we all liberals at heart?

Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 47, Week of 2/18 (week 6): Punishment Motives: Deterrence and Retribution Carlsmith, K. M. (). The roles of retribution and utility in determining punishment.

Determinism, Free Will, and Moral Responsibility The question of free will leads to issues of moral responsibility. And these two issues are of direct interest to humanism. There are those who believe that determinism is incompatible with free will and moral responsibility.

Lastly, no serious discussion of determinism can be complete. Moral emotions represent a key element of our human moral apparatus, influencing the link between moral standards and moral behavior.

This chapter reviews current theory and research on moral emotions. The section immediately following this introduction is a discussion of the origin and history of Western reflection on moral responsibility.

This is followed by an overview of recent work on the concept of moral responsibility. For further discussion of issues associated with moral responsibility, see the related entries below.

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A discussion on the influence of moral psychology in determining moral responsibility and punishment
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