2nd Edition

Moral Psychology A Contemporary Introduction

By Valerie Tiberius Copyright 2023
    274 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    274 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Released in 2014, this was the first philosophy textbook in moral psychology, introducing students to a range of philosophical topics and debates such as: what is moral motivation? Do reasons for action always depend on desires? Is emotion or reason at the heart of moral judgment? Under what conditions are people morally responsible? Are there self-interested reasons for people to be moral?

    The Second Edition of Moral Psychology: A Contemporary Introduction, updates its responses to these questions, taking advantage of the explosion of recent research from philosophers and psychologists on these topics, and adding a chapter on the question of whether morality is innate or learned. As before, the book emphasizes the relationship between traditional and interdisciplinary approaches to moral psychology and aims to carefully explain how empirical research is (or is not) relevant to philosophical inquiry. The bulleted summaries, study questions, and lists for further readings at the end of each chapter have been updated.

    Key Updates to the Second Edition:

    • Includes a new opening section on human nature, borrowing material from elsewhere in the book
    • Adds a new chapter on evolutionary and developmental arguments for the innateness of morality
    • Expands coverage of the challenges to psychological research, including the replication crisis and the WEIRDness challenge
    • Provides a new section on implicit bias and moral responsibility
    • Offers enhanced clarity and accessibility throughout
    • Includes up-to-date further reading sections and bibliography

    Chapter 1. Introduction: What is Moral Psychology?

    Part I: Human Nature: What are We Like and What Does it Matter?

    Chapter 2. The Starting Points of Morality

    Chapter 3. Moral Motivation and Selfishness

    Chapter 4. Why Be Moral?: Moral Reasons and Well-Being

    Part II: Moral Motivation and Moral Judgment

    Chapter 5. Desires and Reasons

    Chapter 6. Emotion and Moral Judgment

    Chapter 7. Sentimentalism and Rationalism

    Chapter 8. Brains, Biases, and Trolleys

    Chapter 9. Virtue

    Part III: Agency and Moral Responsibility

    Chapter 10. The Psychology of the Responsible Agent

    Chapter 11. Moral Responsibility, Free Will, and Determinism


    Chapter 12. Conclusion.



    Valerie Tiberius is Professor of Philosophy and the Paul W. Frenzel Chair in Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota. Her previous books include – in addition to the First Edition of Moral Psychology: A Contemporary Introduction (Routledge, 2014) – What Do You Want out of Life?: A Philosophical Guide to Figuring Out What Matters (Princeton University Press, 2023), Well-Being as Value Fulfilment: How We Can Help Each Other to Live Well (Oxford University Press, 2018), and The Reflective Life: Living Wisely with Our Limits (Oxford University Press, 2008).

    “Valerie Tiberius' Moral Psychology, 2nd edition, proved to be the ideal stand-alone text for my upper-division course on the Philosophy and Psychology of Morality. The breadth of topics covered is impressive, the writing is reader-friendly, and philosophical and scientific perspectives on morality are each given their due – and, when possible, skillfully integrated. My students enjoyed discussing the book and learned much from it, as did I.  A+!”

    Timothy Shanahan, Loyola Marymount University 

    "This might be the only textbook I’ve read that I can honestly describe as a page-turner. Engaging and funny, this fantastic book manages to cover the vast field of moral psychology, from ancient philosophical theories to the latest empirical findings. Tiberius is able to illustrate and explain complex philosophical puzzles in a way that is not only clear – it’s also clearly applicable to readers’ own lives."

    Jesse Graham, The University of Utah