Moral motivation

Moral judgment and moral motivation seem to go hand in hand. For example, if Mary believes that it is morally wrong to harm one’s friends, then she will want to avoid harming her friends. Merely thinking that it is wrong to perform a certain action, that is, suffices for wanting to avoid performing that action — provided that the agent is minimally rational.

This is an intuitively appealing picture of the relation between moral judgment and moral motivation. But does it correspond to the commonsense conception of morality? Our studies in this area are designed to address this question.

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