Learning Emotions and Ethics

Patricia Greenspan

in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Emotion

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780199235018
Published online January 2010 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy

 Learning Emotions and Ethics

Show Summary Details


This article explores how we might at least move toward moral emotions, and thence to moral judgment, from a fairly minimal innate basis in emotion—along with whatever learning mechanisms and other conceptual equipment we also possess innately. Despite its ambiguities, which lead Griffiths to reject the term, this article uses “innate” to mean roughly what Griffiths has in mind when he speaks of evolutionary “programs”: unlearned responses or response tendencies, emerging (sometimes well after birth) as a consequence of genetic endowment —but also subject to serious cultural modification, in ways that are particularly significant in the moral sphere.

Keywords: moral emotions; moral judgment; learning mechanisms; genetic endowment; cultural modification; ethics

Article.  10284 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Moral Philosophy

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.