Development of Morality and Emotional Processing

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Social and Affective Neuroscience of Everyday Human Interaction: From Theory to Methodology
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Marques L.M.
Cabral P.
Comfort W.E.
Boggio P.S.
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© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2023.Emotions play a very important role in moral judgments. Hume argues that morality is determined by feelings that make us define whether an attitude is virtuous or criminal. This implies that an individual relies on their past experience to make a moral judgment, so that when the mind contemplates what it knows, it may trigger emotions such as disgust, contempt, affection, admiration, anger, shame, and guilt (Hume D. An enquiry concerning the principles of morals, 1777 ed. Sec. VI, Part I, para, 196, 1777). Thus, even so-called “basic” emotions can be considered as moral emotions. As Haidt (The moral emotions. In: Handbook of affective sciences, vol 11, 852-870, Oxford University Press, 2003) points out, all emotional processing that leads to the establishment and maintenance of the integrity of human social structures can be considered as moral emotion. Consequently, the construct of “morality” is often characterized by a summation of both emotion and cognitive elaboration (Haidt J. Psychol Rev, 108(4):814, 2001).
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