Norms & Moral Psychology

The second subproject, running from October 2007 – October 2010 will focus on the psychological basis for our representation, acquisition, and understanding of moral and non-moral norms.

Norms and moral psychology have been of interest to philosophers for centuries. However, philosophers have been slow to link these concerns with empirical work. And theorists in other disciplines have all too often proceeded in isolation as well – certainly, what work there is has lacked the sort of rich, interdisciplinary collaboration these topics deserve. The project will explore what light a truly interdisciplinary perspective can shed on the nature of norms, thecharacter of moral emotions, the role of sentiment in moral judgment, the role of reason in moral judgment, the origin of morals, and other fundamental issues in philosophical ethics.

Questions here include: What are norms? How do we represent moral norms? What is the structure of the psychological systems involved in the acquisition, processing, complying with, and enforcing moral norms? To what extent is moral psychology culturally universal? To what extent is it culturally variable? How are moral norms culturally transmitted? What can we learn about moral norms from the nature of the cutlural transmission? How does empirical work on moral psychology interact with normative theories in ethics and meta-ethical theory?

17-19 September 2010 — Conference on Culture and the Mind: Norms and Moral Psychology associated with the AHRC Culture and the Mind Project

This public conference is the second of three conferences associated with the AHRC Culture and the Mind project. The conference is the final event associated with the second phase of the project, which has been exploring what light an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural perspective can shed on such topics as the nature of norms, the character of moral emotions, the role of sentiment in moral judgment, the role of reason in moral judgment, and the origin of morals.