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Motivation and Agency$
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Alfred R. Mele

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780195156171

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/019515617X.001.0001

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Moral Motivation and Moral Ought‐Beliefs

Moral Motivation and Moral Ought‐Beliefs

Internalism Versus Externalism

(p.107) 5 Moral Motivation and Moral Ought‐Beliefs
Motivation and Agency

Alfred R. Mele (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter's topic is moral motivation. It is argued – against John McDowell, David McNaughton, Thomas Nagel, and others – that no plausible cognitivist moral theory will include the strong “internalist” thesis that moral ought‐beliefs essentially encompass motivation to act accordingly or even Jonathan Dancy's more modest thesis that some such beliefs are “intrinsically motivating.” The argument features an examination of depression or listlessness. An alternative, causal view of the connection between moral judgments and motivation is proposed. It is argued that this view supports the practical function of morality.

Keywords:   cognitivism, Dancy, depression, externalism, internalism, listlessness, McDowell, McNaughton, moral judgment, moral motivation, moral theory, ought, Thomas Nagel

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