This course surveys recent scientific research about the psychology of moral judgment. Moral psychology examines how people make judgments of appropriate behavior. Many scientific disciplines inform this domain, including social psychology, anthropology, evolutionary biology, ethology, developmental psychology, cognitive psychology, robotics & artificial intelligence, and brain science. This is not a course about religion, nor is it a course about the philosophy of ethics. This course is about the psychological mechanisms of moral judgment as it is, not a course about what correct judgments ought to be.
This is a readings-and-discussion course. Each day focuses on specific book chapters or articles. Students are expected to actively discuss the readings in class. The list of readings is presented in the schedule, below. Some of the readings address sensitive topics involving violence, sexuality, or disgust, and there are no alternative readings or assignments. If you are not willing to read about and discuss such topics, please do not enroll in the course.
Please purchase these books: