Ethical Naturalism, Moral Psychology and How Humans Change
Chair: Alan Norrie – University of Warwick, Warwick, United Kingdom
A key theme in ethical theory and practice concerns how human beings might develop and flourish given their nature. The structure/ agency couple indicates the importance of the context in which people act, but insists at the same time that they do act, changing the world and themselves in the process. Critical realism has its philosophical roots in an ethical naturalism which emphasises the need for a moral psychology that neither reduces the moral dimension to the psychological, nor vice versa. It therefore seeks to think what kind of creatures humans are in psychological terms such that they have genuine moral experiences which guide action. Possible collaborators in ethical discussion would include Aristotelian philosophy and Freudian psychoanalysis. From these perspectives, this panel invites contributors to think about moral change, responsibility, guilt and other ethical concepts that capture the ways in which humans negotiate actions in different social and natural contexts.