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Faculty of Classics

 

Moral psychology, broadly conceived, explores the psychological preconditions of moral behaviour, constituting an important—indeed increasingly important—part of philosophical ethics. Modern moral psychology tries to take the results of empirical psychology and neuroscience on board, which makes it a genuinely interdisciplinary endeavour. It requires, among other things, the competence to frame the results of empirical studies within a philosophical vocabulary and to apply them to philosophical debates. To give a few examples, moral psychology deals with the analysis of human character, the nature of moral emotions, the relation between moral qualities and well-being, egoistic and altruistic motivation, the various forms of moral development, the acquisition of character traits, moral knowledge and the capacity to perceive morally salient features.

Despite its interest in current-day empirical and experimental approaches, the research field, agenda, and key topics of modern moral psychology have significant connections and overlap with the themes and theories of ancient moral philosophy. Most ancient moral philosophers based their ideas on morally good character, well-being and sound moral development, as well as on a general account of the human soul.

It is the shared conviction of the Cambridge-LMU Moral Psychology Ancient and Modern Group that a dialogue between contemporary moral psychology and experts in ancient moral psychological theories is both necessary and useful. It will enrich the contemporary debate and correct certain biases and conceptual shortcomings of the modern empirically-based approach. At the same time, a new reading of the ancient texts informed by the current debate will help to sharpen the philosophical potential inherent in these texts.


Moodle page for draft papers and other project materials (Registered users only)

 

Latest news

Regius Professorship of Greek

16 January 2023

The Faculty is delighted to announce that Professor Tim Whitmarsh FBA has been elected Regius Professor of Greek from 1 April 2023. He is currently the A. G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture in the University. Looking ahead to his new role, Professor Whitmarsh commented: ’I am thrilled and honoured to be taking up this...

Mary Beard receives THE Outstanding Achievement Award

18 November 2022

Professor Mary Beard received the Outstanding Achievement Award at the 2022 Times Higher Education Awards . The citation hailed how she had “broken through the ivory tower’s walls and brought her unique enthusiasm for her subject – and crucially, what it can teach us about contemporary life and politics – to the world”...

University Assistant Professorship in Classics

15 November 2022

The Faculty of Classics is seeking to appoint an Assistant Professor in Classics (Ancient Greek History and/or Archaeology) from 1 September 2023. The role is open to those, at any stage in their career, with a primary research interest in Archaic/Classical/Hellenistic Greek History and/or Archaeology. We welcome...

Brian Leech Memorial Fund

10 November 2022

The Faculty of Classics is delighted to announce the establishment of the Brian Leech Memorial Fund. The Fund comes about thanks to a generous donation by Emma Gleave, and is made in memory of her late father, Brian Leech. Brian Leech had a long and successful career as both barrister and judge. He also greatly enjoyed classical studies – with a life-long passion for ancient Greek and Latin languages.