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Organization, Regulations, and Courses 2021-22

PHIL 50.25 Moral Sentimentalism

Sentimentalists believe that moral judgments are based on affective states—roughly, emotions—and that the institution of morality is in some sense a construction out of these states. What are the origins of moral approbation and disapprobation? Is there such a thing as a “moral sense”? What role does sympathy or empathy play in moral psychology? How are moral sentiments related to practical deliberation? Are moral judgments the product of reason or passion? How do complex moral attitudes evolve? What role do social forces play in shaping moral sentiments? Is there empirical evidence for or against sentimentalism? What are the implications of moral sentimentalism for non-cognitivist approaches to moral discourse? Readings will include both classic sentimentalist texts of the 18th Century—Shaftesbury, Hutcheson, Hume, and Smith—and their latter-day descendants.


Two Philosophy courses, or permission of the instructor.

Distributive and/or World Culture


The Timetable of Class Meetings contains the most up-to-date information about a course. It includes not only the meeting time and instructor, but also its official distributive and/or world culture designation. This information supersedes any information you may see elsewhere, to include what may appear in this ORC/Catalog or on a department/program website. Note that course attributes may change term to term therefore those in effect are those (only) during the term in which you enroll in the course.