Rationality, Moral Motivation and Psychopathology
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Motivational internalism is a view according to which moral judgments are necessarily motivating. Rationalist internalism (RI) is the most popular version of this view; it limits internalism to people who are practically rational. Motivational internalism, including RI, has been criticized as being incompatible with research into certain personality disorder; in particular psychopathic personality and pathological personality which is the result of damage to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (shortened to VM damage). In this paper, I argue that many of the features of psychopathic personality and of VM damage, which some philosophers interpreted as direct proof against internalism, should be understood as having an effect on the practical rationality of the patients. This means that these personality disorders cannot be used as counter examples to RI and can, in fact, be seen as supporting RI to some extent . I begin by describing RI. I then turn to I describing the phenomenon of psychopathic personality and VM damage and their philosophically relevant features. Finally I discuss whether the features characterizing psychopathy and VM damage influence the degree to which these disorders can serve as counterexamples to internalism of the rationalist variety.
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