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Disorientation and Moral Life$
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Ami Harbin

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190277390

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190277390.001.0001

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Moral Motivation beyond Moral Resolve

Moral Motivation beyond Moral Resolve

(p.36) 2 Moral Motivation beyond Moral Resolve
Disorientation and Moral Life

Ami Harbin

Oxford University Press

This chapter introduces the concept of moral resolve: when a person acts on the basis of a moral judgment about what to do and how to do it, and with feelings of confidence about the action, herself as agent, or both, she acts with moral resolve. The assumption that moral resolve is the best or only evidence of successful moral motivation has been dominant in moral psychology and in philosophical and empirical ethics, including in accounts of moral development (e.g., Lawrence Kohlberg), dual-systems theories of moral judgment (e.g., Jonathan Haidt and Joshua Greene), and accounts of ambivalence (e.g., Harry Frankfurt). Taking grief as a case study, the chapter offers an account of how experiences can have morally significant effects without generating moral resolve. This account clears the way for understanding how experiences like disorientations may be morally productive, even when they fail to generate, or directly compromise, moral resolve.

Keywords:   moral psychology, moral judgment, moral motivation, grief, disorientation, confidence, ambivalence, empirical ethics, moral resolve

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