Center for Neurophilosophy and Ethics of Neurosciences

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Moral competence


In the theoretical part of the project we analyse the concept of moral competence as the ability to participate in a justified practice of social morality and to engage in public justification of this practice. Our aim is to develop an integrated concept of moral competence, that can both inform philosophical discourses about ethics and moral responsibility and serve as a basis for empirical research in moral psychology. 

In addition to the conceptual work, we investigate the role of different aspects of moral competence (moral judgment, moral motivation, moral attitudes) in school bullying. Bullying serves as a prototypical model of immoral behaviour. 

Team and partners

- Michael von Grundherr
- Stephan Sellmaier
- Mechthild Schäfer
- Anja Pfitzner 


  1. Schäfer, M., von Grundherr, M., & Sellmaier, S. (2013). Mobbing. In J. Sautermeister (Ed.), Moralisches Können: Transdisziplinäre Perspektiven und ethische Herausforderungen der Moralpsychologie. Kohlhammer.
  2. von Grundherr, M. (2014). Philosophische Ethik. In W. Melzer, D. Hermann, U. Sanfuchs, M. Schäfer, W. Schubarth, & P. Daschner (Eds.), Handbuch Aggression, Gewalt und Kriminalität bei Kindern und Jugendlichen. Julius Klinkhart.