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Abstract

The neuroscience of emotion and its relation to moral action is a critical area of engagement for deepening understanding of faith, rationality, and the passions. Moral philosophies and theologies often examine the function of passion in relation to reason and justification in moral action. Whether they find emotion to be an obstacle to or a constitutive part of justifiably rational or ethical decision making, the neuroscience of emotion and moral action should prove to be of interest. Here, after briefly motivating this interest (while avoiding psychologism), this article reviews the abundant evidence from lesion studies linking emotion to human reasoning, especially in contexts relevant for evaluation of one's own ends and those of others. After a brief consideration of dual process models, newly reintroduced into affective and social neuroscience, the article concludes by pointing to two active areas in these sciences that support an integrative view of emotion for reason.