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Sentimental Rules is an ambitious and highly interdisciplinary work, which proposes and defends a new theory about the nature and evolution of moral judgment. In it, philosopher Shaun Nichols develops the theory that emotions play a critical role in both the psychological and the cultural underpinnings of basic moral judgment. Nichols argues that our norms prohibiting the harming of others are fundamentally associated with our emotional responses to those harms, and that such "sentimental rules" enjoy an advantage in cultural evolution, which partly explains the success of certain moral norms. This has sweeping and exciting implications for philosophical ethics. Nichols builds on an explosion of recent intriguing experimental work in psychology on our capacity for moral judgment and shows how this empirical work has broad import for enduring philosophical problems. The result is an account that illuminates fundamental questions about the character of moral emotions and the role of sentiment and reason in how we make our moral judgments. This work should appeal widely across philosophy and the other disciplines that comprise cognitive science.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780195314205
ISBN-10: 0195314204
Format: Paperback
(231mm x 153mm x 16mm)
Pages: 240
Imprint: Oxford University Press Inc
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Publish Date: 8-Feb-2007
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Shaun Nichols

Shaun Nichols is Harry Lightsey Associate Professor in Humanities at the College of Charleston. He has published articles in Cognition, Philosophy of Science, The Monist, Philosophical Topics, Mind & Language, and Analysis. He is also the co-author, with Stephen Stitch, of Mindreading.

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