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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

Open letter on anti-racism: a response from the Faculty Board of Classics

16 July 2021

The response to the Open Letter on anti-racism, together with an action plan outlining the Faculty’s strategy, is now available online. Read here for more details

Martin Millett elected as President of the Society of Antiquaries of London

7 July 2021

Professor Martin Millett FBA, Laurence Professor of Classical Archaeology and Fellow of Fitzwilliam College, has been elected as President of the Society of Antiquaries of London (2021-24). Founded in 1707, the Society of Antiquaries of London is an educational charity that promotes the understanding of the human past and...

Classics student Lylaah Bhalerao receives a Fulbright Award

5 July 2021

Classics MPhil student Lylaah Bhalerao (Murray Edwards 2017), has received an All Disciplines Fulbright Award to enable her to study at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University. Lylaah has been selected from a strong applicant pool to pursue doctoral research into how to decolonise ancient...

New gift to further support Joyce Reynolds Awards

15 June 2021

The Faculty is enormously grateful to Karen and Peter Ventress for their generous gift to further support our efforts to encourage more diversity among students studying Classics at Cambridge. Karen and Peter have made a gift of £40k to fund a further studentship under the banner of the Joyce Reynolds Awards . The Awards...