Craving the Right

Patricia Greenspan

in Morality and the Emotions

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199577507
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731235 | DOI:
Craving the Right

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This chapter argues that emotions provide normative reasons that can play a significant role in moral motivation, even granting that their weight is trivial in comparison to moral reasons. Besides affording a means of access to moral reasons and augmenting our motivation to act on them, emotions can be said to supply higher-order reasons, against postponing action on the reasons that moral judgment supplies on its own. The fact of continuing emotional discomfort gives grounds for rational criticism of postponement, so that emotional reasons add pressure to moral reasons rather than weight. Limiting their role to reinforcing moral reasons helps answer common objections to an earlier version of the argument: from rational ‘bootstrapping’ (rationalizing action on inappropriate emotions) and from concern for one’s own emotional state as the ‘wrong sort of reason’ for moral action

Keywords: Keywords: emotion; reason; rationality; motivation; morality; normativity

Chapter.  11665 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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