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Moral Motivation

  • David SteinbergEmail author
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Abstract

Moral motivation refers to whether a person who makes a moral judgment subsequently acts accordingly. It has been debated whether a moral judgment is intrinsically self-motivating or whether pre-existing desires or external factors are required for a person to act on a moral belief. A spectrum of immoral antisocial behavior has been described; psychopaths, such as Jeffrey Dahmer, are at the extreme end of this spectrum. Brain damage, as in the famous case of Phineas Gage, can also impair moral behavior. In some cases, because immoral behavior is beyond a person’s control, they should not be considered blameworthy.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  2. 2.Lahey Hospital and Medical Center, Emeritus StaffBurlingtonUSA

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