What's required for motivation by principle?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Kant claimed both that "moral feeling is the capacity to be affected by a moral judgment" and that moral motivation is motivation by principle. What are the psychological mechanism(s) that could enable principles to motivate? This chapter develops in more detail a suggestion made elsewhere by the author that posits a connection between susceptibility to the discomfort of cognitive dissonance and moral motivation of a broadly Kantian kind. The chapter argues that the possession of principles is constitutively connected to one’s status as a diachronic self and to one’s rational agentive capacities. If psychopaths are insensitive to cognitive dissonance, they cannot have or be motivated by principles. This provides an explanation of the failure of moral motivation in psychopaths that differs from the usual focus on lack of empathy.
LanguageEnglish
Title of host publicationMotivational internalism
EditorsGunnar Björnsson, Caj Strandberg, Ragnar Francén Olinder, John Eriksson, Fredrik Björklund
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherOxford University Press
Pages108-129
Number of pages22
ISBN (Print)9780199367955
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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Moral Motivation
Cognitive Dissonance
Psychopath
Immanuel Kant
Agentive
Susceptibility
Psychological
Moral Judgment
Diachrony
Empathy
Moral Feeling
Possession

Cite this

Kennett, J. (2015). What's required for motivation by principle? In G. Björnsson, C. Strandberg, R. F. Olinder, J. Eriksson, & F. Björklund (Eds.), Motivational internalism (pp. 108-129). New York: Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199367955.003.0006
Kennett, Jeanette. / What's required for motivation by principle?. Motivational internalism. editor / Gunnar Björnsson ; Caj Strandberg ; Ragnar Francén Olinder ; John Eriksson ; Fredrik Björklund. New York : Oxford University Press, 2015. pp. 108-129
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Kennett, J 2015, What's required for motivation by principle? in G Björnsson, C Strandberg, RF Olinder, J Eriksson & F Björklund (eds), Motivational internalism. Oxford University Press, New York, pp. 108-129. https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199367955.003.0006

What's required for motivation by principle? / Kennett, Jeanette.

Motivational internalism. ed. / Gunnar Björnsson; Caj Strandberg; Ragnar Francén Olinder; John Eriksson; Fredrik Björklund. New York : Oxford University Press, 2015. p. 108-129.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review

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AB - Kant claimed both that "moral feeling is the capacity to be affected by a moral judgment" and that moral motivation is motivation by principle. What are the psychological mechanism(s) that could enable principles to motivate? This chapter develops in more detail a suggestion made elsewhere by the author that posits a connection between susceptibility to the discomfort of cognitive dissonance and moral motivation of a broadly Kantian kind. The chapter argues that the possession of principles is constitutively connected to one’s status as a diachronic self and to one’s rational agentive capacities. If psychopaths are insensitive to cognitive dissonance, they cannot have or be motivated by principles. This provides an explanation of the failure of moral motivation in psychopaths that differs from the usual focus on lack of empathy.

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Kennett J. What's required for motivation by principle? In Björnsson G, Strandberg C, Olinder RF, Eriksson J, Björklund F, editors, Motivational internalism. New York: Oxford University Press. 2015. p. 108-129 https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199367955.003.0006