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Colloquium "Moral Choice and Emotions: Is There a Link?"

Tuesday, 24. April 2018 - 17:00
Location: 
Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Lentzeallee 94, 14195 Berlin, Small Conference Room
Host: 
Center for the History of Emotions
Contact: 
Christina Becher, sekfrevert@mpib-berlin.mpg.de

The Center for the History of Emotions at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, led by Prof. Ute Frevert, cordially invites all interested to attend its summer semester 2018 colloquium

Kristen Renwick Monroe, University of California, Irvine / American Academy in Berlin Fellow 2017-18

Moral Choice and Emotions: Is There a Link?

Prior empirical work on moral choice during war suggests moral choice emanates not from rational deliberation but rather in the actor’s sense of self in relation to others. What role might emotion play in this process? Do emotions act as triggers, drawing critical parts of one’s identity to the fore but not others? Does emotion work through framing of the situation? Is framing focused more on the creation of certain mental images of the other person or people whose lives will be affected by one’s actions? Is cognitive stretching critical and, if so, how might it be influenced by emotion? These are some of the questions posed in this talk.

Kristen Renwick Monroe is a scholar whose work has changed the field of political psychology, political economy, and normative political theory. Monroe’s award-winning work on altruism and moral choice deals with a central problem in politics and ethics: our treatment of others. Her work provides a valuable counter-point to rational choice theory, suggesting identity constrains choices by limiting the options we find available, not just ethically but cognitively. Her awards include a Pulitzer nomination, a National Book Award nomination, two American Political Science Association Best Book awards (the Robert Lane Award) and two of the APSA's lifetime achievement awards (the 2010 Goodnow Award and APSA's 2010 Ithiel deSola Pool Award), and the 2010 Paul Silverman Award for Outstanding Work in Ethics. She has served as the President of the International Society of Political Psychology and Vice-president of the American Political Science Association.

References to empirical work describing moral choice during war by Kristen Renwick Monroe: The Heart of Altruism: Perceptions of a Common Humanity (Princeton U Press 1996), The Hand of Compassion: Portraits of Moral Choice (Princeton U Press 2004), Ethics in an Age of Terror and Genocide (Princeton U Press 2012), A Darkling Plain: Stories of Conflict and Humanity during War (Cambridge U Press 2016).