Robert Roberts
Baylor University

Contemplating Virtues

Project Description:

My project is to complete a book titled Contemplating Virtues. The book is the third in a trilogy on the moral psychology of emotions. The first volume was Emotions: An Essay in Aid of Moral Psychology (Cambridge U. P., 2003), and the second Emotions in the Moral Life (Cambridge U. P., 2013). The first volume is about the nature of emotions, with special attention to their relevance to the moral life; the second is about the moral properties themselves: emotions’ role in moral judgment and knowledge, in the motivation of moral action, in the constitution of personal relationships, and in the happiness of persons. The last chapter in the second volume sketches the variety of ways that emotions are involved in moral virtues. That involvement is taken up in much greater detail in Contemplating Virtues. The introductory chapter explores the possibility that the philosophical study of the virtues might, as the ancients thought it could, contribute to the moral wisdom of somebody who thinks them through. Then follow a series of “contemplative” chapters on particular virtues: Compassion, Generosity and Gratitude, Justice, Forgivingness, Temperance, Courage and Related Virtues, Humility, Sense of Duty, Sense of Humor, and Practical Wisdom.

Robert C. Roberts is Distinguished Professor of Ethics at Baylor University. He works in moral psychology, focusing especially on emotions and virtues. He is the author of Emotions: An Essay in Aid of Moral Psychology (2003), Spiritual Emotions (2007), Intellectual Virtues (2007, with Jay Wood), and, most recently, Emotions in the Moral Life (2013). He has also published papers in collections and in such journals as the Philosophical Review, American Philosophical Quarterly, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Philosophical Studies, Faith and Philosophy, and the Journal of Religious Ethics.