What kind of an emotion is regret? What difference does it make whether, how, and why we experience it, and how does this experience shape our current and future thoughts, decisions, goals? Under what conditions is regret appropriate? Is it always one kind of experience, or does it vary, based on who is doing the regretting, and why? How is regret different from other backward-looking emotions?
In The Moral Psychology of Regret, scholars from several disciplines—including philosophy, gender studies, disability studies, law, and neuroscience—come together to address these and other questions related to this ubiquitous emotion that so many of us seem to dread. And while regret has been somewhat under-theorized as a subject worthy of serious and careful attention, this volume is offered with the intent of expanding the discourse on regret as an emotion of great moral significance that underwrites how we understand ourselves and each other.
Editor’s Introduction: Backward Glances, Anna Gotlib / 1. “Bury Me In A Free Land”: Regret for Slavery in Nineteenth-Century African-American Philosophical Literature, Catherine Villanueva Gardner / 2. Regret: Considerations of Disability, Teresa Blankmeyer Burke / 3. Regret, Responsibility, and the Brain, Giorgio Coricelli / 4. Regret Minimization as a Determinant of Riskless Decision Making: Overview, and Ethical Implications for Choice Set Engineering, Caspar Chorus / 5. Regret as a Reactive Attitude: The Conditions of Responsibility and Revision, Audrey L. Anton / 6. Reasonable Regret, Maura Priest / 7. Cousins of Regret: Some Deeper Than Others, Adam Morton / 8. Regret, Perspective and Fate, Christopher Cowley / 9. Regret and Self-Knowledge, David Batho / 10. Regret, Perspective and Transformation, Sarah Richmond / 11. Regret as a Condition for Personhood, James F. DiGiovanna / Bibliography / Index
Anna Gotlib is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Brooklyn College CUNY
What is regret and why should we care? In this volume, the contributors answer these questions in a variety of ways, including considerations of how fate plays into regret, the connection between regret and personhood, when regret is reasonable, and the role regret plays in self-transformation. Gotlib has brought together a remarkable group of theorists, making this collection a go-to read.
The Moral Psychology of Regret gives much needed nuance to a moral emotion that’s easy to oversimplify. Drawing on both empirical and conceptual resources, this collection demonstrates the myriad ways that regret is central to both moral life and what it means to be human. It is of real value for both experts and those just starting to think deeply about what regret is and how it functions in our lives.