Dr. Jason K. Swedene is currently Associate Professor of Philosophy and Humanities at Lake Superior State University, where he also serves as Director of the University Honors Program. He earned his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
2007 0-7734-5346-6 It is largely assumed that painful self-assessing emotions, such as guilt, are appropriate responses to acting in a moral dilemma for a variety of reasons: these emotions we are committed to moral ends not reflected by our action, they are understandable byproducts of a healthy moral education, and they reflect our making a connection to the wrongness of our dilemmatic act. This study challenges these rationales and argues that a truly admirable agent would not feel such emotions because he would apprehend his moral role, if not his causal role, as marginal. The author contends that ethical theorists should stop endorsing such emotional responses, and offers suggestions to moral educators which dissuade inculcating characters which do not feel emotions in line with actions. This study will appeal to scholars interested in virtue ethics, the philosophy of emotions, and philosophical psychology.