Expressions of gratitude abound. Hardly a book is published that does not include in its preface or acknowledgments some variation on, "I am grateful to...for..." Indeed, most achievements come to be only through the help of others. We value the benevolence of others, and when we--or our loved ones--are the recipients of benevolence, our emotional response is often one of gratitude. But, are we bound to the requirement of 'repaying' our benefactors in some way? If we are, and there are--as ordinary language suggests--debts of gratitude, what kind of debts are these? Does the appropriateness of my gratitude require that my benefactor in fact intended to benefit me (in just the way she did)? Is there a difference between feeling grateful and being grateful? Is a precondition of my being grateful to another that I respect her? Do we owe a special sort of gratitude to those who have shaped us into the persons we are? What are the psychological and normative relations between gratitude the emotion, and gratitude the virtue? These are among the questions carefully addressed in The Moral Psychology of Gratitude. This volume provides readers with the state-of-the-art in research on gratitude. It does so in the form of sixteen never-before published articles on the emotion by leading voices in philosophy and the sciences of the mind.
About the Author
Robert Roberts is Distinguished Professor of Ethics Emeritus at Baylor University. Daniel Telech is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Polonsky Academy for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences, at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute.