Existential Feelings in Virtue: A Philosophical-Psychological Investigation
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Discourses on the self and virtue have minimized the importance of emotion in favor of cognitive-developmental perspectives. Yet recent theory and research in philosophy (Kristjánsson, 2010; Slaby & Stephan, 2008) and psychology (Haidt, 2008) find that affect plays a constitutional role in the self, moral judgments, and virtuous behavior. A class of affective phenomena called existential feelings has been identified as vital to self-understanding and motivation (Ratcliffe, 2008; Slaby, Paskaleva, & Stephan, 2014). The present interdisciplinary project investigates the significance of such feelings as a motivational link between the self and virtue. In five studies using cross-disciplinary, innovative methods, we will determine whether positive existential feelings support a sense of emotional connection to others that bolsters virtues of courage, humanity, and transcendence. We will further determine whether existential feelings are negatively impacted by the aging process, and whether this process can be altered to increase virtue in older adults.
- Moral Self Archive