The Dennes Room

Philosophy 107

Spring 2019

Number Title Instructor Days/time Room
107 Moral Psychology Shun MWF 3-4 Wheeler 204

The course will examine a range of psychological phenomena related to the ethical and spiritual life of humans, drawing on both contemporary Western philosophical approaches and non-Western traditions (Confucianism, and to some extent Daoism and Buddhism). It will also draw on the writings of other literary or intellectual figures (e.g. Tolstoy, Einstein, Schweitzer), some recent psychological literature (e.g., empathy-altruism hypothesis vs. self-other merging), as well as alternative approaches to the prevalent mode of ethical reflection (e.g., Iris Murdoch, Michael Oakeshott, feminist ethics). Topics to be covered include: pride and humility; anger, resentment and forgiveness; compassion, empathy and sympathy; death, acceptance, and detachment; as well as other selected topics. The unifying theme underlying the exploration of these topics is the idea of ‘no self’, that is, the idea that ethical self-transformation involves a move away from different forms of undue focus on the self.

Previously taught: SP18, SP17, SP15, SU09D, FL07, SP05.