I have argued that there is no such thing as 'the psychology of moral behaviour': psychology cannot tell us what the psychological determinants of moral behaviour are. For the determinants of moral behaviour are not psychological but moral. A person's moral behaviour issues from his moral beliefs and the significance he finds, from their perspective, in the situations in which he acts. A genuinely moral action is autonomous; it comes from the person, not form his psychology. Consequently psychology, the discipline, in its concern to explain moral behaviour can only shed light on the psychology of false or corrupt moral behaviour.
Does this mean that psychology, as a study, can have nothing to say about the genuinely moral person—about his behaviour and psychology? I believe it can; but not as an experimental discipline. To be able to do this is needs to be a thoughtful psychology. It has to give time to reflecting on both life, as it is actually lived by human beings, and on the distinctive character of human life. For it is as such that morality belongs to it.
The distinction I made in the last chapter between a person and his psychology is one about which we need to be clear. When, for example, a person lacks a sense of inner worth, because he has not been loved and valued by his parents during his formative years, so that now he is constantly driven to compensate for this and can think of nothing else in his feelings, we can attribute this behaviour to his psychology. We can say that he is ruled by his psychology and lacks autonomy. Freud said: 'the ego is not master in its own house'. His psychology stands in the way of his giving him