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The Emotional Construction of Morals

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  45 ratings  ·  3 reviews
Jesse Prinz presents a bravura argument for highly controversial claims about morality, which go to the heart of our understanding of ourselves. He argues that moral values are based on emotional responses, and that these emotional responses are inculcated by culture, not hard-wired through natural selection.
Hardcover, 334 pages
Published October 1st 2007 by Oxford University Press, USA
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Chris Meyers
Prinz argues for a sentimentalist theory of moral judgment. Moral concepts are essentially related to emotions and moral properties are dispositions to cause particular emotions. For example, the wrongness of an action is its tendency to cause in me, guilt when I do it and anger when others do it.

Prinz makes an important distinction between sentiments and emotions. A sentiment is a disposition (instantiated in the brain) to feel certain emotions in certain contexts, whereas an emotion is an occ
...more
Chris
An excellent, thorough-going, and rigorous defense of a sensibility theory of morality. It's one of the best defenses of moral relativism that I've read. The sections on moral judgment and hidden indexicals, genealogy, and the limitations of evolutionary approaches to morality are particularly good, I think. The discussion of moral progress from a relativist standpoint is also notable. Prinz's The Emotional Construction of Morals will be of interest to a wide range of scholars in academic philos ...more
John Chaffinch
Contentious but tautly argued and packed with illustration. Essential reading for anyone with a serious interest in ethics. The critique of Aristotle's theory of the golden mean is particularly cogent.
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Jesse J. Prinz is a Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and director of the Committee for Interdisciplinary Science Studies at the City University of New York, Graduate Center. He lives in New York.
More about Jesse J. Prinz...
Beyond Human Nature: How Culture and Experience Shape the Human Mind Gut Reactions: A Perceptual Theory of Emotion Furnishing the Mind: Concepts and Their Perceptual Basis The Conscious Brain Works of Wonder: A Theory of Art

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