Moral Judgments and Motivation: Making Sense of Mixed Intuitions

Ethical Perspectives 23 (2):209-230 (2016)
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The debate between motivational judgment internalism and motivational judgment externalism focuses on whether a moral judgment is sufficient for motivation, or if an additional conative state is required. It is clear from the literature that internalists and exernalists have different intuitions regarding moral judgments. Most individuals, however, seem to hold a mix of internalist and externalist intuitions. My aim in this paper is to offer an approach to the issue that can account for this mix of intuitions. Drawing on the work of psychologist Augusto Blasi, I suggest that a shift in focus from conative states to moral identity may be worthwhile. I argue that Blasi’s ‘self model’ can provide a straightforward story about moral judgments and motivation that makes sense of our mix of intuitions while accounting for many of the longstanding concerns of the debate between internalism and externalism.

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Denise Vigani
Seton Hall University


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