PDC Homepage

Home » Products » Purchase

Res Philosophica

Volume 92, Issue 4, October 2015

Virtue and the Emotions

Robert C. Roberts
Pages 883-914
DOI: 10.11612/resphil.2015.92.4.9

The Normative and the Empirical in the Study of Gratitude

Recent empirical work on the virtue of gratitude raises questions about the limits of that research and its methods to address normative questions about gratitude. I distinguish two kinds of norms for the emotion of gratitude—norms of genuineness and norms of excellence. I examine two kinds of empirical studies that aim to establish or contribute to the norms for gratitude: a so-called “prototype” approach, and a narrative vignettes approach, finding the latter far superior, and suggest various refinements that might improve accuracy. The main emotion types, of which gratitude is an example, have a conceptual structure that must be reflected in any normative analysis, and is far better reflected in the vignettes approach. Ultimately, however, formulation of norms of genuineness and of virtue must come from one or another tradition of careful reflection and debate about such concepts as gratitude; and the representatives of such traditions are philosophers and theologians.

Not yet a subscriber? Subscribe here
Already a subscriber? Login here

This document may be purchased

Purchase this article for
$15.00 USD
Enter your confirmation number if you've already purchased this article.