Moral cognitivism and motivation

Philosophical Review 108 (2):161-219 (1999)
The impact moral judgments have on our deliberations and actions seems to vary a great deal. Moral judgments play a large part in the lives of some people, who are apt not only to make them, but also to be guided by them in the sense that they tend to pursue what they judge to be of moral value, and shun what they judge to be of moral disvalue. But it seems unrealistic to claim that moral judgments play a pervasive role in the lives of all or even most people. There are considerable variations in how strong a tendency people have to think in moral terms, and in how such thoughts affect their decisions and actions. For every moral hero who single- mindedly pursues moral values, there are thousands of less com- mitted people who only do so when it does not cost them too much in material comfort, personal relations, or social standing. And of course, what counts as too much varies from person to person. On top of such variations, there are those who consistently display mor- al indifference-people who concede, for example, that certain investment policies have morally problematic consequences, but who can readily and without compunction ignore that in their busi- ness decisions. There even seem to be moral subversives, people who intentionally and knowingly pursue what they acknourledge to be morally u~ong or bad, and do so for that very reason
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DOI 10.2307/2998300
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Caj Strandberg (2012). A Dual Aspect Account of Moral Language. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 84 (1):87-122.

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