David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophical Psychology 16 (1):51 – 66 (2003)
Metaethical questions are typically held to be a priori , and therefore impervious to empirical evidence. Here I examine the metaethical claim that motive-internalism about belief (or belief-internalism), the position that moral beliefs are intrinsically motivating, is true. I argue that belief-internalists are faced with a dilemma. Either their formulation of internalism is so weak that it fails to be philosophically interesting, or it is a substantive claim but can be shown to be empirically false. I then provide evidence for the falsity of substantive belief-internalism. I describe a group of brain-damaged patients who sustain impairment in their moral sensibility: although they have normal moral beliefs and make moral judgments, they are not inclined to act in accordance with those beliefs and judgments. Thus, I argue that they are walking counterexamples to the substantive internalist claim. In addition to constraining our conception of moral reasoning, this argument stands as an example of how empirical evidence can be relevantly brought to bear on a philosophical question typically viewed to be a priori.
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Nicholas Southwood & Lina Eriksson (2011). Norms and Conventions. Philosophical Explorations 14 (2):195 - 217.
Caj Strandberg & Fredrik Björklund (2013). Is Moral Internalism Supported by Folk Intuitions? Philosophical Psychology 26 (3):319-335.
Richard Joyce (2011). The Error In 'The Error In The Error Theory'. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (3):519-534.
Philip Gerrans & Jeanette Kennett (2010). Neurosentimentalism and Moral Agency. Mind 119 (475):585-614.
Lisa Damm (2011). Emotions and Moral Agency. Philosophical Explorations 13 (3):275-292.
Similar books and articles
M. Bagaric (2002). Internalism and the Part-Time Moralist: An Essay About the Objectivity of Moral Judgments. Consciousness and Emotion 2 (2):255-271.
Robert Lockie (1998). What's Wrong with Moral Internalism. Ratio 11 (1):14–36.
Elinor Mason (2008). An Argument Against Motivational Internalism. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 108 (1part2):135-156.
Jesse J. Prinz (2006). The Emotional Basis of Moral Judgments. Philosophical Explorations 9 (1):29-43.
Elizabeth S. Radcliffe (2006). Moral Internalism and Moral Cognitivism in Hume's Metaethics. Synthese 152 (3):353 - 370.
Jesse Steinberg (2009). Weak Motivational Internalism, Lite: Dispositions, Moral Judgments, and What We're Motivated to Do. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 39 (sup1):1-24.
Danielle Bromwich (2010). Clearing Conceptual Space for Cognitivist Motivational Internalism. Philosophical Studies 148 (3):343 - 367.
Michael Cholbi (2006). Belief Attribution and the Falsification of Motive Internalism. Philosophical Psychology 19 (5):607 – 616.
Adina Roskies (2006). Patients with Ventromedial Frontal Damage Have Moral Beliefs. Philosophical Psychology 19 (5):617 – 627.
Adina Roskies (2003). Are Ethical Judgments Intrinsically Motivational? Lessons From "Acquired Sociopathy" . Philosophical Psychology 16 (1):51-66.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads56 ( #31,710 of 1,140,133 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #88,260 of 1,140,133 )
How can I increase my downloads?