ABSTRACT

The past decade has witnessed a renaissance in scientific approaches to the study of morality. Once understood to be the domain of moral psychology, the newer approach to morality is largely interdisciplinary, driven in no small part by developments in behavioural economics and evolutionary biology, as well as advances in neuroscientific imaging capabilities, among other fields. To date, scientists studying moral cognition and behaviour have paid little attention to virtue theory, while virtue theorists have yet to acknowledge the new research results emerging from the new science of morality.

Theology and the Science of Moral Action explores a new approach to ethical thinking that promotes dialogue and integration between recent research in the scientific study of moral cognition and behaviour—including neuroscience, moral psychology, and behavioural economics—and virtue theoretic approaches to ethics in both philosophy and theology. More particularly, the book evaluates the concept of moral exemplarity and its significance in philosophical and theological ethics as well as for ongoing research programs in the cognitive sciences.

chapter |8 pages

Introduction

ByJAMES A. VAN SLYKE

part |2 pages

Part I A Science of Morality: A Place for Exemplars and Virtue

chapter 1|16 pages

Empirical Approaches to Virtue Science: Observing Exemplarity in the Lab

ByWARREN S. BROWN, MICHAEL L. SPEZIO, KEVIN S. REIMER, JAMES A.

chapter 2|20 pages

Virtue, Science, and Exemplarity: An Overview

ByGREGORY R. PETERSON

chapter 4|22 pages

A Modest Polemic for Virtuous Pride

ByKEVIN S. REIMER AND M. KYLE MATSUBA

part |2 pages

Part II Exemplarity, Science, and Virtue: Philosophical Perspectives

chapter 5|16 pages

Exemplarism: Some Considerations

ByGREGORY R. PETERSON

chapter 6|16 pages

Naturalizing Moral Exemplarity: Contemporary Science and Human Nature

ByJAMES A. VAN SLYKE

chapter 7|13 pages

The Moral Authority of Exemplars

ByLINDA T. ZAGZEBSKI

chapter 8|17 pages

Neuroscience, the Trolley Problem, and Moral Virtue

ByCRAIG A. BOYD

part |2 pages

Part III Exemplarity, Science, and Virtue: Theological Perspectives