Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 12, 2018


Francesco Belfiore
Pages 29-33

‘Multifactorial’ Moral Motivation and the Triadic Structure of the Mind

Moral motivation has been variously conceived and explained. The main theses maintain that moral motivation springs directly from moral judgments and beliefs (internalism) or that it is due to factors external to moral judgments and beliefs, such as desires (externalism). In this paper, I defend the thesis that moral motivation is contributed by several factors, so that it can be defined as “multifactorial”. I refer to my previously proposed conception according to which mind exerts three kinds of activity, each of which, in turn, creates outward/selfish and inward/moral products. Thus, mind rational activity creates outward/selfish ideas and beliefs and in ward/moral thoughts or beliefs; mind emotional activity creates outward/selfish sentiments (desires/aversions) and inward/moral feelings; and mind practical activity creates outward/selfish actions and inward/moral acts. The inward/moral activity is directed to mind itself, under stood and felt as an evolving entity, whose evolution is the moral good. I attempt to show that moral motivation does not spring only from ideas, thoughts, and beliefs (internalism) but is also contributed by moral feelings and selfish desires (as externalism holds) as well as by the cost of moral acts and selfish actions. Thus, moral motivation is contributed by all six mind products and, therefore, is multifactorial.