The Journal of Value Inquiry

, Volume 47, Issue 3, pp 285–317 | Cite as

Recent Work on the Concept of Gratitude in Philosophy and Psychology

  • Liz GullifordEmail author
  • Blaire Morgan
  • Kristján Kristjánsson

This paper constitutes a critical review of the recent philosophical and psychological literatures on the concept of gratitude, literatures which have proliferated in recent years. Indeed, it seems everybody nowadays wants to enthuse about gratitude. In theological circles that is no novelty; ever since St. Paul’s exhortation in Thessalonians 5:18, “In every thing give thanks, for this is the will of God,” most scholars working within the Christian tradition have accorded gratitude a high value. More surprisingly, however, academics reared in the secular disciplines of psychology and philosophy have recently jumped on the pro-gratitude bandwagon. Gone are the days when gratitude was deemed the “emotion most neglected by psychologists” and when philosophers could rightly observe that contemporary philosophy has had “comparatively little to say about gratitude.”1Suddenly, eliciting the conceptual contours of gratitude has become a popular endeavor in philosophy, and psychologists have...


Positive Emotion Prosocial Behavior Virtue Ethic Ordinary Language Moral Virtue 
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This publication was made possible through the support of a grant from the John Templeton Foundation. The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the John Templeton Foundation.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Liz Gulliford
    • 1
    Email author
  • Blaire Morgan
    • 1
  • Kristján Kristjánsson
    • 1
  1. 1.Jubilee Centre for Character and Values, School of EducationUniversity of BirminghamBirminghamUK

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