Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open Peer Commentary

Money motives, moral philosophy, and biological explanations

Adrian J. Walsh a1
a1 Philosophy Discipline, School of Social Science, University of New England, Armidale, NSW, 2351, Australia.

Article author query
walsh aj   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 


Lea & Webley (L&W) provide two alternative biological accounts of human monetary motivations, the Tool Theory and the Drug Theory. They argue that both are required for an adequate explanation. I explore the applicability of these models to philosophical discussions of how we might justify such motivations. I argue their approach is not entirely satisfactory for normative questions, since it precludes the possibility of rational non-instrumental attitudes towards money.

(Published Online April 5 2006)