Mapping Moral Motivation

Garrard, Eve; McNaughton, David
March 1998
Ethical Theory & Moral Practice;Mar1998, Vol. 1 Issue 1, p45
Academic Journal
In this paper we defend a version of moral internalism and a cognitivist account of motivation against recent criticisms. The internalist thesis we espouse claims that, if an agent believes she has reason to A, then she is motivated to A. Discussion of counter-examples has been clouded by the absence of a clear account of the nature of motivation. While we can only begin to provide such an account in this paper, we do enough to show that our version of internalism can be defended against putative counter-examples. All theories of motivation which take what motivates to be a psychological state run foul of the following plausible constraint: the reason why you ought to do an action and the reason why you do it can be the same. In our view, however, while what motivates is a reason (which is a fact) the state of being motivated is a cognitive stage, viz. the belief that one has reason to act. In cases where the agent‘s relevant beliefs are false, then she has no reason to act, but nontheless her action can be explained in other ways.


Related Articles

  • When need for closure leads to positive attitudes towards a negatively stereotyped outgroup. Kossowska, Małgorzata; Dragon, Piotr; Bukowski, Marcin // Motivation & Emotion;Feb2015, Vol. 39 Issue 1, p88 

    The study examined the relationship between epistemic motivation, which is the need for closure (NFC), and positive attitudes towards a negatively stereotyped outgroup (i.e., Gypsies). Although extensive research has revealed that NFC is related to derogatory behavioural tendencies and negative...

  • Hierarchy of Wants. Nelson, Bob // Personal Excellence Essentials;Aug2005, Vol. 10 Issue 8, p10 

    Presents the hierarchy of wants in order to motivate other people. Need to feel that what one is doing is important and has a purpose and meaning; Exhibition of professional courtesy, trust and respect at all times; Appreciation of efforts to a job well done.

  • Impression management pressures on racial attitude surveys. Holmes, Jeffrey D. // Social Science Journal;Jun2014, Vol. 51 Issue 2, p302 

    Highlights: [•] Tested the adequacy of controlling for social desirability in racial attitude scales. [•] More response pressure reported on racial attitude items than on social desirability items. [•] Response pressure is only moderately correlated across item types.

  • Changing the World. Flintoff, John-Paul // Resurgence & Ecologist;Jan/Feb2013, Issue 276, p59 

    In this article, the author discusses the things to be done to change the world. He mentions that more often people conclude that changing the world is a hard work, and so most of then even do not try. He gives appropriate examples and advises on how it can be avoided and recommends that people...

  • Principled Motivation. Qubein, Nido R. // Personal Excellence Essentials;Aug2005, Vol. 10 Issue 8, p10 

    Provides basic principles about motivation. Observation that people do things for their own reasons; Impact of pain on peoples' decision to change; Motivation of people when they are helped to take pride in their work.

  • Surprise and Motivation of Causal Search: How Are They Affected by Outcome Valence and Importance? Gendolla, Guido H. E.; Koller, Michael // Motivation & Emotion;Dec2001, Vol. 25 Issue 4, p327 

    Two studies investigated whether the importance and valence of a target person's achievement outcome affect (a) the intensity of surprise an observer feels about the actual outcome and (b) the role surprise plays in the motivation of the search for a causal explanation for the target's outcome....

  • Half a Mind. Clements, John // Personal Excellence Essentials;Feb2005, Vol. 10 Issue 2, p16 

    The article discusses results of having half a mind in certain situations. Whenever author hears a person claiming to be in two minds about a course of action, he know that neither of his half-minds will motivate him to action. He asks himself that why are folks so happy to remain in a...

  • Kognitive Konsequenzen der Wahl eines Verlierers. Sauer, Claudius; Frey, Dieter; Ochsmann, Randolph; Kumpf, Martin; Irle, Martin // Zeitschrift für Soziologie;jul1977, Vol. 6 Issue 3, p297 

    The election of the 'Landtag von Nordrhein-Westfalen' in 1975 was one of the infrequent occasions of being able to examine the resolution of cognitive inconsistencies in a natural-occurring event: Voters who expect their own party to lose will experience cognitive dissonance. There was...

  • Personal and Situational Factors Associated with Dropping Out versus Maintaining Participation in Competitive Sport. Robinson, Timothy T.; Carron, Albert V. // Journal of Sport Psychology;1982, Vol. 4 Issue 4, p364 

    The relationship between the decision of young athletes {N = 98) classified as starters, survivors, and dropouts to either maintain involvement with competitive sport team or drop out and a number of motivational (personal) and situational factors was examined. The personal and situational...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics