Moral Motivation

Edited by Joshua May (University of Alabama, Birmingham)
About this topic
Summary Questions in moral motivation are broad, but often focus on the source and content of one's motivation to do what one judges to be right. For example, is the source of moral motivation more of a cognitive matter, involving reasoning or belief? Or is it primarily a matter of sentiment, desire, or emotion? Is the content of moral motivation, say, a desire to do whatever one believes is right. Or is it something more direct, such as empathy or a concern for features that make the action right? Related questions dealt with in other areas as well concern the apparently internal connection between moral judgments and moral motivation (internalism) and whether benevolent action is always ultimately self-interested (egoism).  The notion of "right" throughout may encompass more than morality, since often philosophers interested in moral motivation have a broader concern for what we might call "normative motivation." This involves, for example, motivation to do what one believes one has most reason to do, whether these reasons are moral or not. Familiar questions can then arise, such as whether it's possible for us to judge that following a strict diet is most prudent, yet lack any motivation to do it. 
Key works Many of the issues in moral motivation dealt with in contemporary literature spring from Hume & Macnabb 1738 and Kant 1785/2002. More recently, Nagel 1970, Korsgaard 1986, and Smith 1994 address the source and structure of moral motivation and have spurred much of the subsequent literature. Herman 1981 provides a key starting point for contemporary discussion of the content of moral motivation---there in connection with the motive of duty (see also Smith 1994, ch. 3).
Introductions The entry by Rosati 2006 provides a detailed introduction; Wallace 1998 is more brief but equally useful. Some of the relevant empirical work is summarized in May 2017 and Schroeder et al 2010Wallace 1990 provides a fairly lengthy but excellent introduction to key arguments for the role of desire in moral motivation.
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  1. Principium Vs. Principiatum: The Transcendence of Love in Hildebrand and Aquinas.Francis Feingold - manuscript
    This paper seeks to defuse two claims. On the one hand, I confront the Hildebrandian claim that Thomism, by placing the principium of love in the needs and desires of the lover rather than in the beloved, denies the possibility of transcendent love; on the other, I seek to refute the Thomistic objection that Hildebrand lacks a sufficient understanding of nature and its inherent teleology. In order to accomplish this, a distinction must be made between different kinds of principium or (...)
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  2. Natural Motives and the Motive of Duty: Hume and Kant on Our Duties to Others.Christine M. Korsgaard - manuscript
    In this paper I argue that the ground of this disagreement is different than philosophers have traditionally supposed. On the surface, the disagreement appears to be a matter of substantive moral judgment: Hume admires the sort of person who rushes to the aid of another from motives of sympathy or humanity, while Kant thinks that a person who helps with the thought that it is his duty is the better character. While a moral disagreement of this kind certainly follows from (...)
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  3. Counterfeit Self: A Confirmatory Factor Analysis Among Indonesians.Juneman Abraham, Bagus Takwin & Julia Suleeman - forthcoming - Kasetsart Journal of Social Sciences:1-8.
    It is questionable whether counterfeiting in many areas of life contributes to unethical behavior to a wider extent. If the notion is supported by data, then the moral damage in a society could be prevented by reducing the counterfeit self and behavior to a bare minimum. This study aimed at empirically testing the measurement model of counterfeit self of Wood et al. (2008) among Indonesians as well as theoretically reviewing counterfeit self roles in unethical behavior. The participants of this study (...)
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  4. Genealogical Inquiry and Universal Moral Values.G. Cavallo - forthcoming - Dialegesthai. Rivista Telematica di Filosofia 2017.
    Inspired by american pragmatism and Hans Joas' proposal of an affirmative genealogy, I argue in this paper that a genealogical inquiry (both on the biografical and on the historical level) can explain what motivates individuals to moral agency better than Kantian moral philosophy, without renouncing an historically-informed conception of universal moral values.
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  5. On the Practicality of Virtue Ethics.Daniel Coren - forthcoming - Journal of Value Inquiry:1-24.
    Using research in social psychology, philosophers such as Gilbert Harman and John Doris argue that human beings do not have – and cannot acquire – character traits such as virtues. Along with defenders of virtue ethics such as Julia Annas and Rachana Kamtekar, they assume that this constitutes a dangerous attack on virtue ethics. I argue that even if virtues and vices did not exist and everyone accepted that truth, (1) we would continue to make attributions of character traits in (...)
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  6. Moral Fetishism and a Third Desire for What’s Right.Nathan Robert Howard - forthcoming - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy.
    A major point of debate about morally good motives concerns an ambiguity in the truism that good and strong-willed people desire to do what‘s right. This debate is shaped by the assumption that ‘what‘s right‘ combines in only two ways with ‘desire‘, leading to distinct de dicto and de re readings of the truism. However, a third reading of such expressions is possible, first identified by Janet Fodor (1979/2014), which has gone wholly unacknowledged by philosophers in this debate. I identify (...)
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  7. The Goals of Moral Worth.Nathan Robert Howard - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Metaethics.
    While it is tempting to suppose that an act has moral worth just when and because it is motivated by sufficient moral reasons, philosophers have, largely, come to doubt this analysis. Doubt is rooted in two claims. The first is that some facts can motivate a given act in multiple ways, not all of which are consistent with moral worth. The second is the orthodox view that normative reasons are facts. I defend the tempting analysis by proposing and defending a (...)
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  8. Naturalizing Darwall's Second Person Standpoint.Carme Isern-Mas & Antoni Gomila - forthcoming - Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Scienc.
    In this paper, we take Darwall’s analytical project of the second-person standpoint as the starting point for a naturalistic project about our moral psychology. In his project, Darwall contends that our moral notions constitutively imply the perspective of second-personal interaction, i.e. the interaction of two mutually recognized agents who make and acknowledge claims on one another. This allows him to explain the distinctive purported authority of morality. Yet a naturalized interpretation of it has potential as an account of our moral (...)
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  9. What Would Lewis Do?Daniel Nolan - forthcoming - In Helen Beebee & Anthony Fisher (eds.), Perspectives on the Philosophy of David K. Lewis. Oxford University Press.
    David Lewis rejected consequentialism in ethics. However, two aspects of his meta-ethical views make it a challenge to see how consequentialism could be resisted. Lewis endorses a maximising conception of rationality, where to be rational is to maximise value of a certain sort; he appears to think it is possible to be both rational and moral; and yet he rejects conceptions of moral action as acting to maximise moral value. The second tension in Lewis's views arises from his meta-ethics. Lewis's (...)
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  10. The Effects of Morality on Acting Against Climate Change.Thomas Pölzler - forthcoming - In Richard Joyce & Richard Garner (eds.), The End of Morality. New York: Routledge.
    Suppose you are a moral error theorist, i.e., you believe that no moral judgment is true. What, then, ought you to do with regard to our common practice of making such judgments? Determining the usefulness of our ordinary moral practice is exacerbated by the great number and variety of moral judgments. In-depth case studies may thus be more helpful in clarifying error theory’s practical implications than reflections about morality in general. In this chapter I pursue this strategy with regard to (...)
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  11. Rationalizing Our Way Into Moral Progress.Jesse S. Summers - forthcoming - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 19 (5):1-12.
    Research suggests that the explicit reasoning we offer to ourselves and to others is often rationalization, that we act instead on instincts, inclinations, stereotypes, emotions, neurobiology, habits, reactions, evolutionary pressures, unexamined principles, or justifications other than the ones we think we’re acting on, then we tell a post hoc story to justify our actions. This is troubling for views of moral progress according to which moral progress proceeds from our engagement with our own and others’ reasons. I consider an account (...)
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  12. Consequentialism, Moral Motivation and the Deontic Relevance of Motives.Seven Sverdlik - forthcoming - In Iakovos Vasiliou (ed.), Moral Motivation: A History. Oxford University press.
    This paper surveys the history of consequentialist thinking about the deontic relevance of motives in the period of its development, 1789-1912. If a motive is relevant deontically it is a factor that determines whether the action it leads to is right or wrong. Bentham, Austin, Mill, Sidgwick and Moore all either stated or implied that motives are never relevant deontically. Their related views on moral motivation—or which motives are morally praiseworthy—are also examined. Despite the arguments given by Mill and Moore, (...)
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  13. Moral Motivation and the Evil-God Challenge.Luke Wilson - forthcoming - Religious Studies:1-14.
    The evil-god challenge holds that theism is highly symmetrical to the evil-god hypothesis and thus it is not more reasonable to accept one rather than the other. But, since it is not reasonable to accept the evil-god hypothesis, it is not reasonable to accept theism. This article will primarily focus on defending the challenge from two recent objections which hold that it follows from the nature of moral motivation that theism is intrinsically much more likely to be true than the (...)
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  14. Individually Sufficient and Disjunctively Necessary Conditions for Moral Responsibility.Garry Young & Daniel Coren - forthcoming - Acta Analytica:1-15.
    In this paper, we motivate, propose and defend the following two conditions as individually sufficient and disjunctively necessary for moral responsibility: PODMA —originally proposed by Coren, Acta Analytica, 33, 145–159,, now cast as sufficient rather than necessary—and the TWC*, which amends versions presented by Young, 961–969, 2016; Philosophia, 45, 1365–1380, 2017). We explain why there is a need for new necessary and sufficient conditions, how these build on and improve existing ideas, particularly in relation to Frankfurt-style counterexamples and the continuing (...)
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  15. One Desire Too Many.Nathan Robert Howard - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 102 (2):302-317.
    I defend the widely-held view that morally worthy action need not be motivated by a desire to promote rightness as such. Some have recently come to reject this view, arguing that desires for rightness as such are necessary for avoiding a certain kind of luck thought incompatible with morally worthy action. I show that those who defend desires for rightness as such on the basis of this argument misunderstand the relationship between moral worth and the kind of luck that their (...)
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  16. The Nature of Morals Founded on the Human Fabric.Elizabeth S. Radcliffe - 2021 - In Esther Kroeker & Willem Lemmens (eds.), Hume's Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals: A Critical Guide. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. pp. 13-32.
    In section 1 of An Enquiry concerning the Principles of Morals, Hume claims that those who deny the reality of morals are disingenuous. He also notes that philosophy has had a history of disagreements about whether morals originate in reason or in sentiment. Throughout his book, Hume applies an experimental method to find the “universal principles” from which morality is ultimately derived. Then, in Appendix 1, he then argues for the origin of these principles in sentiment or taste, a product (...)
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  17. Epistemic Judgement and Motivation.Cameron Boult & Sebastian Köhler - 2020 - Philosophical Quarterly 70 (281):738-758.
    Is there an epistemic analogue of moral motivational internalism? The answer to this question has implications for our understanding of the nature of epistemic normativity. For example, some philosophers have argued from claims that epistemic judgement is not necessarily motivating to the view that epistemic judgement is not normative. This paper examines the options for spelling out an epistemic analogue of moral motivational internalism. It is argued that the most promising approach connects epistemic judgements to doxastic dispositions, which are related (...)
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  18. Moral Self-Determination: The Nature, Existence, and Formation of Moral Motivation.Randall Curren & Richard M. Ryan - 2020 - Journal of Moral Education 49 (3):295-315.
    This paper addresses three basic questions about moral motivation. Concerning the nature of moral motivation, it argues that it involves responsiveness to both reasons of morality and the value of persons and everything else of value. Moral motivation is thus identified as reason-responsive appropriate valuing. Regarding whether it is possible for people to be morally motivated, the paper relies on self-determination theory (SDT) to show how moral motivation is a likely product of socialization that is need-supportive in modeling appropriate valuing (...)
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  19. Capitalism After Covid: How the Pandemic Might Inspire a More Virtuous Economy.Julian Friedland - 2020 - The Philosophers' Magazine 2 (89):12-15.
    Today, dramatically increasing economic inequality, imminent climatological calamity, and a global pandemic now place the timeless debate over capitalism into stark relief. Though many seek to pin the blame on capitalism’s excesses, they would do well to recall the historical record of socialism’s deficiencies, namely, stifling innovation, lumbering inefficiency, and stagnation. Fortunately, our moral psychology affords a middle way between these two extremes. For while economic incentives have a tendency to let our civic and prosocial impulses atrophy from disuse, these (...)
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  20. Uncovering the Moral Heuristics of Altruism: A Philosophical Scale.Julian Friedland, Kyle Emich & Benjamin M. Cole - 2020 - PLoS ONE 15 (3).
    Extant research suggests that individuals employ traditional moral heuristics to support their observed altruistic behavior; yet findings have largely been limited to inductive extrapolation and rely on relatively few traditional frames in so doing, namely, deontology in organizational behavior and virtue theory in law and economics. Given that these and competing moral frames such as utilitarianism can manifest as identical behavior, we develop a moral framing instrument—the Philosophical Moral-Framing Measure (PMFM)—to expand and distinguish traditional frames associated and disassociated with observed (...)
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  21. Regard for Reason in the Moral Mind: By May, Joshua, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018, Pp. Xv + 264, £45. [REVIEW]Jeanette Kennett - 2020 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 98 (1):199-201.
    Volume 98, Issue 1, March 2020, Page 199-201.
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  22. Comparing the Effect of Rational and Emotional Appeals on Donation Behavior.Matthew Lindauer, Marcus Mayorga, Joshua D. Greene, Paul Slovic, Daniel Västfjäll & Peter Singer - 2020 - Judgment and Decision Making 15 (3):413-420.
    We present evidence from a pre-registered experiment indicating that a philosophical argument––a type of rational appeal––can persuade people to make charitable donations. The rational appeal we used follows Singer’s well-known “shallow pond” argument (1972), while incorporating an evolutionary debunking argument (Paxton, Ungar, & Greene 2012) against favoring nearby victims over distant ones. The effectiveness of this rational appeal did not differ significantly from that of a well-tested emotional appeal involving an image of a single child in need (Small, Loewenstein, and (...)
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  23. Normative Uncertainty and the Dependence Problem.Abelard Podgorski - 2020 - Mind 129 (513):43-70.
    In this paper, I enter the debate between those who hold that our normative uncertainty matters for what we ought to do, and those who hold that only our descriptive uncertainty matters. I argue that existing views in both camps have unacceptable implications in cases where our descriptive beliefs depend on our normative beliefs. I go on to propose a fix which is available only to those who hold that normative uncertainty matters, ultimately leaving the challenge as a threat to (...)
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  24. Pathological Moralizing: Is Moral Judgment a Commitment Device?Michael Prinzing - 2020 - Ethics 130 (2):228-236.
    Eric Campbell has argued that we should abolish moral discourse on the grounds that making moral judgments leads to “potentially severe practical pathologies”, including hypocrisy and self-delusion. However, his account of moral judgments only plausibly describes deontological judgments. Thus, his argument only supports deontological abolitionism. This view is certainly interesting. But it is not as extreme as moral abolitionism. Moreover, I argue that Campbell’s account, when reconstructed as an argument for deontological abolitionism can play only a very limited dialectical role.
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  25. Entre a normatividade e a descrição: uma discussão sobre naturalismo e não-naturalismo em metaética.Matheus de Mesquita Silveira & Luca Nogueira Igansi - 2020 - Dissertatio 51:103-131.
    Este artigo visa compreender o estado da arte do naturalismo contemporâneo a partir da discussão com posições não naturalistas, em especial as de Moore e Rawls. Parte-se da análise do argumento central destas abordagens no contexto formal da metaética contemporânea, buscando aferir a validade da falácia naturalista no contexto atual, bem como de seus limites na aplicação contra o naturalismo moral. Apresenta-se a discussão entre o naturalismo e o não-naturalismo moral como, respectivamente, estandartes das perspectivas descritivas e prescritivas da moralidade. (...)
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  26. Regard for Reason in the Moral Mind. By Joshua May. Pp. Ix, 264, Oxford University Press, 2018, £45.00. [REVIEW]Agneta Sutton - 2020 - Heythrop Journal 61 (2):359-359.
    he burgeoning science of ethics has produced a trend toward pessimism. Ordinary moral thought and action, we're told, are profoundly influenced by arbitrary factors and ultimately driven by unreasoned feelings. This book counters the current orthodoxy on its own terms by carefully engaging with the empirical literature. The resulting view, optimistic rationalism, shows the pervasive role played by reason our moral minds, and ultimately defuses sweeping debunking arguments in ethics. The science does suggest that moral knowledge and virtue don't come (...)
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  27. Epistemic Worth.Daniel Whiting - 2020 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 7.
    Actions can have, or lack, moral worth. When a person’s action is morally worthy, she not only acts rightly, but does so in a way that reflects well on her and in such a way that she is creditable for doing what is right. In this paper, I develop and defend an analogue of the notion of moral worth that applies to belief, which I call epistemic worth. When a person’s belief is epistemically worthy, she not only believes rightly, but (...)
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  28. Moral Judgment and Motivation.Xiao Zhang - 2020 - Dissertation, University of Birmingham
    In this thesis, I explore motivational internalism and externalism, which concern the relationship between moral judgments and motivation. I first introduce the basic terms and different forms of internalism and externalism, including the externalist objections to internalism based on the famous counterexamples. I then argue against externalism by defending and developing Michael Smith’s fetishism argument. I not only respond to the externalist objections to the fetishism argument but also further argue against different externalist explanations of moral motivation that intend to (...)
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  29. Logical Expressivism and Carroll’s Regress.Corine Besson - 2019 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 86:35-62.
    In this paper, I address a key argument in favour of logical expressivism, the view that knowing a logical principle such as Modus Ponens is not a cognitive state but a pro-attitude towards drawing certain types of conclusions from certain types of premises. The argument is that logical expressivism is the only view that can take us out of Lewis Carroll's Regress – which suggests that elementary deductive reasoning is impossible. I show that the argument does not hold scrutiny and (...)
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  30. Admiring Animals.Amanda Cawston - 2019 - In Alfred Archer & Andre Grahlé (eds.), The Moral Psychology of Admiration. London: pp. 165-178.
    How can we ground the moral status of animals, or help to guide moral interactions with them? One strategy is to appeal to empathy, which has enjoyed a central place in animal ethics and is often cited as a useful alternative or supplement to rights theories. Empathy is thought to provide the means by which we perceive animals’ moral status (via their capacity for suffering) and the motivational profile that can prompt appropriate action. However, relying on empathy has also come (...)
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  31. Freedom, Gratitude, and Resentment: Olivi and Strawson.Daniel Coren - 2019 - Res Philosophica 96 (3):1-21.
    I argue that by attending to a distinction among perspectives on the root causes of our reactive attitudes, we can better understand the bases and limitations of long-standing debates about free will and moral responsibility. I characterize this distinction as “objectivism vs. subjectivism.” I bring out this distinction by, first, scrutinizing an especially sharp divergence between Peter Strawson and Peter John Olivi: for Olivi, our ordinary human attitudes make it obvious that we have free will, and our attitudes would be (...)
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  32. AI Can Help Us Live More Deliberately.Julian Friedland - 2019 - MIT Sloan Management Review 60 (4).
    Our rapidly increasing reliance on frictionless AI interactions may increase cognitive and emotional distance, thereby letting our adaptive resilience slacken and our ethical virtues atrophy from disuse. Many trends already well underway involve the offloading of cognitive, emotional, and ethical labor to AI software in myriad social, civil, personal, and professional contexts. Gradually, we may lose the inclination and capacity to engage in critically reflective thought, making us more cognitively and emotionally vulnerable and thus more anxious and prone to manipulation (...)
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  33. From Homo-Economicus to Homo-Virtus: A System-Theoretic Model for Raising Moral Self-Awareness.Julian Friedland & Benjamin M. Cole - 2019 - Journal of Business Ethics 155 (1):191-205.
    There is growing concern that a global economic system fueled predominately by financial incentives may not maximize human flourishing and social welfare externalities. If so, this presents a challenge of how to get economic actors to adopt a more virtuous motivational mindset. Relying on historical, psychological, and philosophical research, we show how such a mindset can be instilled. First, we demonstrate that historically, financial self-interest has never in fact been the only guiding motive behind free markets, but that markets themselves (...)
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  34. Links Between Moral Identity and Political Purpose During Emerging Adulthood.Hyemin Han, Parissa Jahromi Ballard & Youn-Jeng Choi - 2019 - Journal of Moral Education:1-19.
    We examined the links between moral identity—the centrality of moral principles to identity—and political purpose during emerging adulthood. We analyzed data from two waves of a longitudinal study of civic purpose. T1 surveys were collected before high school graduation and T2 survey were collected two years later. We categorized people (N = 1,578 at T1 and N = 480 at T2) into political purpose groups based on the person-centered perspective and then performed multinomial logistic regression analysis to test whether moral (...)
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  35. Against the Fallacy of Education as a Source of Ethics.Spyridon Kakos - 2019 - MCDSARE 3:33-41.
    For centuries, the major story of enlightenment was that education is and should be the cornerstone of our society. We try to educate people to make them respectable members of society, something which we inherently relate to being "better persons", firmly believing that education makes humans less prone to evil. Today, modern research seems to validate that premise: statistics verify that more education results to less crime. But is this picture accurate and does this mean anything regarding morality per se? (...)
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  36. What Is Sentimentalism? What Is Rationalism? Commentary on Joshua May.Antti Kauppinen - 2019 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 42:e157.
    In Regard for Reason in the Moral Mind, Joshua May argues successfully that many claims about the causal influence of affect on moral judgment are overblown. But the findings he cites are compatible with many of the key arguments of philosophical sentimentalists. His account of rationalism, in turn, relies on an overly broad notion of inference, and leaves open crucial questions about how we reason to moral conclusions.
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  37. Review - Regard for Reason in the Moral Mind. [REVIEW]Michael Klenk - 2019 - Metapsychology 23 (24).
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  38. Précis of Regard for Reason in the Moral Mind.Joshua May - 2019 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 42 (e146):1-60.
    Regard for Reason in the Moral Mind argues that a careful examination of the scientific literature reveals a foundational role for reasoning in moral thought and action. Grounding moral psychology in reason then paves the way for a defense of moral knowledge and virtue against a variety of empirical challenges, such as debunking arguments and situationist critiques. The book attempts to provide a corrective to current trends in moral psychology, which celebrate emotion over reason and generate pessimism about the psychological (...)
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  39. Rationalism and Intuitionism.Christian Miller - 2019 - In Mark Timmons, Karen Jones & Aaron Zimmerman (eds.), Routledge Handbook on Moral Epistemology. Routledge. pp. 329-346.
    One of the liveliest areas in moral psychology in recent years has been research on the extent to which conscious reasoning leads to the formation of moral judgments. The goal of this chapter is to review and briefly assess three of the leading positions today on this topic - traditional rationalism, social intuitionism, and morphological rationalism - each of which has significant implications for moral epistemology.
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  40. Internalism and the Frege-Geach Problem.Caj Strandberg - 2019 - Belgrade Philosophical Annual 32:68-91.
    According to the established understanding of the Frege-Geach problem, it is a challenge exclusively for metaethical expressivism. In this paper, I argue that it is much wider in scope: The problem applies generally to views according to which moral sentences express moral judgments entailing that one is for or against something, irrespective of what mental states the judgments consist in. In particular, it applies to motivational internalism about moral judgments. Most noteworthy, it applies to cognitivist internalism according to which moral (...)
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  41. "Shining Lights, Even in Death": What Metal Gear Can Teach Us About Morality (Master's Thesis).Ryan Wasser - 2019 - Dissertation, West Chester University
    Morality has always been a pressing issue in video game scholarship, but became more contentious after “realistic” violence in games became possible. However, few studies concern themselves with how players experience moral dilemmas in games, choosing instead to focus on the way games affect postplay behavior. In my thesis I discuss the moral choices players encounter in the Metal Gear series of games; then, I analyze and compare the responses of players with and without martial career experiences. My argument is (...)
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  42. Making Sense of the Sentence.Daniel Coren - 2018 - Journal of Philosophical Research 43:205-222.
    Early on in his Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle argues that there must be a single end or good desired for its own sake, for the sake of which all of our other ends are desired. The argument includes the following conditional: “If we chose everything for the sake of something else so that the process went on forever, then our desire would be empty and futile.” This paper addresses that conditional. First, I explain why the conditional appears to be false. Second, (...)
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  43. Restoring Trustworthiness in the Financial System: Norms, Behaviour and Governance.Aisling Crean, Natalie Gold, David Vines & Annie Williamson - 2018 - Journal of the British Academy 6 (S1):131-155.
    Abstract: We examine how trustworthy behaviour can be achieved in the financial sector. The task is to ensure that firms are motivated to pursue long-term interests of customers rather than pursuing short-term profits. Firms’ self-interested pursuit of reputation, combined with regulation, is often not sufficient to ensure that this happens. We argue that trustworthy behaviour requires that at least some actors show a concern for the wellbeing of clients, or a respect for imposed standards, and that the behaviour of these (...)
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  44. Learning, Acquired Dispositions and the Humean Theory of Motivation.Christos Douskos - 2018 - Philosophical Papers 47 (2):199-233.
    A central point of contention in the ongoing debate between Humean and anti-Humean accounts of moral motivation concerns the theoretical credentials of the idea of mental states that are cognitive and motivational at the same time. Humeans claim that this idea is incoherent and thereby unintelligible (M. Smith, The Moral Problem, Blackwell 1994). I start by developing a linguistic argument against this claim. The semantics of certain ‘learning to’ and ‘knowing to’ ascriptions points to a dispositional state that has both (...)
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  45. Using Benevolent Affections to Learn Our Duty.Marina Folescu - 2018 - Mind 127 (506):467-489.
    The puzzle is this: I argue that for Reid, moral sense needs benevolent affections – i.e. some of our animal, non-cognitive principles of action – to apply the rules of duty. But he also thinks that duty can conflict with benevolent affections. So what happens in these conflict cases? I will argue that Reid takes moral psychology seriously and that he believes that our natural benevolent affections can be used as indicators of duty. Although creative, his account has a major (...)
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  46. Moral Growth Mindset is Associated with Change in Voluntary Service Engagement.Hyemin Han, Youn-Jeng Choi, Kelsie J. Dawson & Changwoo Jeong - 2018 - PLoS ONE 8 (13):e0202327.
    Incremental implicit theories are associated with a belief regarding it is possible to improve one’s intelligence or ability through efforts. Previous studies have demonstrated that incremental implicit theories contributed to better academic achievement and positive youth development. Our study aimed to examine whether incremental implicit theories of morality significantly influenced change in students’ engagement in voluntary service activities. In our study, 54 Korean college students for Study 1 and 180 Korean 8th graders for Study 2 were recruited to conduct two (...)
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  47. The Puzzle of Pure Moral Motivation.Adam Lerner - 2018 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 13:123-144.
    People engage in pure moral inquiry whenever they inquire into the moral features of some act, agent, or state of affairs without inquiring into the non-moral features of that act, agent, or state of affairs. This chapter argues that ordinary people act rationally when they engage in pure moral inquiry, and so any adequate view in metaethics ought to be able to explain this fact. The Puzzle of Pure Moral Motivation is to provide such an explanation. This chapter argues that (...)
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  48. A Limited Skeptical Threat. [REVIEW]Joshua May - 2018 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 41:35-6.
    Doris argues that our choices are heavily influenced by forces that we wouldn’t count as genuine reasons. This unsettling conclusion is motivated by a debunking argument so wide-ranging that it isn’t foisted upon us by the sciences. Doris sometimes seems to lower his ambitions when offering instead a skeptical hypothesis argument, but that conflicts with his aims in the book.
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  49. Regard for Reason in the Moral Mind.Joshua May - 2018 - Oxford University Press.
    The burgeoning science of ethics has produced a trend toward pessimism. Ordinary moral thought and action, we’re told, are profoundly influenced by arbitrary factors and ultimately driven by unreasoned feelings. This book counters the current orthodoxy on its own terms by carefully engaging with the empirical literature. The resulting view, optimistic rationalism, shows the pervasive role played by reason, and ultimately defuses sweeping debunking arguments in ethics. The science does suggest that moral knowledge and virtue don’t come easily. However, despite (...)
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  50. The Challenge of Amoralism.Voin Milevski - 2018 - Ratio 31 (2):252-266.
    According to unconditional motivational internalism, there is an a priori constraint on an agent's forming a sincere moral judgement, namely that she is, at least to some minimal extent, motivated to act as it dictates. In order to undermine this internalist position, proponents of motivational externalism typically appeal to the possibility of the amoralist—i.e. an individual who makes sincere moral judgements, but who is completely unmoved to act accordingly. This strategy is known as the challenge of amoralism. Against this strategy, (...)
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