Moral motivation and the affective appeal

Corns, J. and Cowan, R. (2021) Moral motivation and the affective appeal. Philosophical Studies, 178(1), pp. 71-94. (doi: 10.1007/s11098-020-01421-2)

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Proponents of “the affective appeal” (e.g. Dancy in Ethics 124(4):787–812, 2014; Zagzebski in Philos Phenomenol Res 66(1):104–124, 2003) argue that we can make progress in the longstanding debate about the nature of moral motivation by appealing to the affective dimension of affective episodes such as emotions, which allegedly play either a causal or constitutive role in moral judgements. Specifically, they claim that appealing to affect vindicates a version of Motivational Internalism—roughly, the view that there is a necessary connection between moral judgment and motivation—that is both more empirically respectable and less theoretically controversial than non-affective versions. We here argue that the affective appeal fails: versions of Internalism which appeal to affect are neither more empirically supported, nor clearly less controversial, than versions of Internalism which make no such appeal. Although affect doubtless has an important role to play in explaining moral motivation, we are sceptical that establishing any such role advances the debate.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Cowan, Dr Robert and Corns, Dr Jennifer
Authors: Corns, J., and Cowan, R.
Subjects:B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > Philosophy
Journal Name:Philosophical Studies
ISSN (Online):1573-0883
Published Online:29 January 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 The Authors
First Published:First published in Philosophical Studies 178(1): 71-94
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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