Moral Motivation and the Devil
In this paper, I call into question the thesis known as judgment internalism about moral motivation. Broadly construed, this thesis holds that there is a non-contingent relation between moral judgment and moral motivation. The difficulty for judgment internalism arises because of amoral agents: when an agent both knows the right and yet fails to be motivated to act on this knowledge. Specifically, I cite John Milton's Satan from Paradise Lost. This is a problem because it calls into question the non-contingent relation between moral judgment and moral motivation. I argue that in order for judgment internalism to be viable in reconciling judgment internalism and amoralism, it must provide plausible accounts of both (a) the relationship between judging and motivation, and (b) the conditions for defeasibility. While crude versions of the thesis fail to do this, I provide a revised thesis which I call Narrative Internalism, which assumes a narrative theory of the self. This thesis has the dual strength that it can account for both why one would typically be motivated to Φ upon judging that it is right to Φ and also the conditions that might obtain such that one would fail to be motivated. This account of moral psychology explains both (a) the relationship between judging and motivation, and (b) the conditions for defeasibility by giving an account of plausible defeasibility conditions. I conclude that unless there are more plausible accounts of judgment internalism in the offing, which doesn't seem apparent to me, we should adopt Narrative Internalism.