For the first time, a new 300-level Cognitive Science seminar course--Topics in Moral Psychology--will be offered in the Winter 2020 semester.
Dr. Mara Bollard, whom many of you may know from COGSCI 200 this semester, will be the primary instructor. The course will run on Mondays and Wednesdays from 1 to 2:30 pm and will count as an (on-track) elective for the decision and philosophy tracks.
Read the course description:
Moral psychology is an interdisciplinary area of study in both philosophy and the cognitive sciences. Topics in moral psychology are both psychological and ethical in nature, such as moral judgment, moral motivation, moral agency and responsibility, moral emotions, and moral development. In this course, we'll examine these phenomena. Some of the questions we'll explore include (but are not limited to!) the following: Is moral cognition driven primarily by emotion or reasoning? Which areas of the brain are involved in moral judgment? Are moral judgments necessarily motivating? Which capacities - affective or cognitive or both? - are necessary for moral agency? Are any emotions distinctively moral in nature? Is a psychopath morally responsible if their behavior is the result of brain dysfunction? More generally, what can (and can't) empirical findings from the cognitive sciences tell us about the nature of morality? Course readings will reflect the interdisciplinary nature of moral psychology as a field of inquiry, and will include a mix of philosophical readings and contemporary empirical work in cognitive science.