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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

John Donaldson

27 September 2022

The Museum of Classical Archaeology is very sad to report the death on 21 September 2022 of its former Assistant Curator, John Donaldson. John worked in the Museum from 1988 until his retirement in in March 2013. Indeed, the Museum looks the way it does in large part because of John, who was as happy painting bases as he...

Joyce Reynolds FBA (1918–2022)

12 September 2022

The Faculty of Classics is deeply saddened by the news of the death of Joyce Reynolds FBA. She was Reader Emerita in Roman Historical Epigraphy, Fellow of the British Academy, and Honorary Fellow of Newnham College, where she was Director of Studies in Classics from 1951 to 1979. She was awarded the Gold Medal of the...

BBC Radio 4 - Reflections on Majesty, Mary Beard

12 September 2022

Mary Beard is one of ten writers and scholars invited by the BBC to reflect on their experience of the reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Follow the link below to listen: Listen here

Visual Interactions in Early Writing Systems (VIEWS) awarded ERC grant

16 March 2022

Philippa Steele, Senior Research Associate at the Faculty of Classics, University of Cambridge, has been awarded a grant of 2 million euros by the European Research Council (ERC) to investigate the visual properties of pre-modern writing. The five-year project, Visual Interactions in Early Writing Systems (VIEWS), will...