An affective approach to moral motivation

Journal of Cognitive Science 11 (2):129-160 (2010)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
Over the last few years, there has been a surge of work in a new field called “moral psychology”, which uses experimental methods to test the psychological processes underlying human moral activity. In this paper, I shall follow this line of approach with the aim of working out a model of how people form value judgements and how they are motivated to act morally. I call this model an “affective picture”: ‘picture’ because it remains strictly at the descriptive level and ‘affective’ because it has an important role for affects and emotions. This affective picture is grounded on a number of plausible and empirically supported hypotheses. The main idea is that we should distinguish between various kinds of value judgements by focusing on the sort of state of mind people find themselves in while uttering a judgement. “Reasoned judgements” are products of rational considerations and are based on preliminary acceptance of norms and values. On the contrary, “basic value judgements” are affective, primitive and non-reflective ways of assessing the world. As we shall see, this analysis has some consequences for the traditional internalism-externalism debate in philosophy; it highlights the fact that motivation is primarily linked to “basic value judgements” and that the judgements we openly defend might not have a particular effect on our actions, unless we are inclined to have an emotional attitude that conforms to them.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
CLAAAA-6
Revision history
Archival date: 2012-10-30
View upload history
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Added to PP index
2011-12-16

Total views
196 ( #16,183 of 41,492 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
22 ( #24,498 of 41,492 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.