What’s Wrong with Morality?

Emotion Review 3 (3):230-236 (2011)
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Why do moral people so often fail to act morally? Standard scientific answers point to poor moral judgment (based on deficient character development, reason, or intuition) or to situational pressure. I consider a third possibility: a relative lack of truly moral motivation and emotion. What has been taken for moral motivation is often instead a subtle form of egoism. Recent research provides considerable evidence for moral hypocrisy—motivation to appear moral while, if possible, avoid the cost of actually being moral—but very little evidence for moral integrity—motivation to actually be moral. The lack of truly moral motivation may, in turn, be linked to a lack of truly moral emotion, at least in response to violation of certain moral standards.



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