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Philosopher John Doris: ‘Moral psychologists have plenty to do’

For a long time – centuries, in fact – philosophers theorizing about morality didn’t interact much with scientists studying human behavior.

But movement is afoot to inform moral philosophy with psychological research, as well as the other way around, according to John M. Doris, the Peter L. Dyson Professor of Ethics in Organizations and Life in the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business and professor in the Sage School of Philosophy­ in the College of Arts and Sciences (A&S).

“Philosophical moral psychologists are reading (and producing) empirical work with much greater sophistication than they did 20 years ago, and their colleagues in the sciences have become far more adroit with theoretical issues in ethics,” Doris wrote in “Character Trouble: Undisciplined Essays on Moral Agency and Personality.” “As a result, work in moral psychology keeps getting better and will, I’m certain, continue to do so.”

Doris is leading proponent of interdisciplinary approaches to moral psychology exploring questions of character, virtue and agency. “Character Trouble” collects his work developing this approach spanning more than 20 years. Doris will reflect on the collection during a Chats in the Stacks book talk Thursday, March 2 at 4 p.m. in 160 Mann Library, also streamed online.

Read an interview with Doris about the book on the College of Arts and Sciences website.

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