Alternative motivation: A new challenge to moral judgment internalism

Philosophical Explorations 12 (1):41 – 53 (2009)
Internalists argue that there is a necessary connection between motivation and moral judgment. The examination of cases plays an important role in philosophical debate about internalism. This debate has focused on cases concerning the failure to act in accordance with a moral judgment, for one reason or another. I call these failure cases . I argue that a different sort of case is also relevant to this debate. This sort of case is characterized by (1) moral judgment and (2) behavior that accords with the content of the moral judgment but that has been performed not because of the moral judgment. Instead it is due to some other source of motivation. I call these alternative motivation cases . I distinguish two sorts of alternative motivation cases, and I argue that externalists have natural explanations of these cases. By contrast, extant internalist accounts of failure cases are inadequate when applied to alternative motivation cases
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DOI 10.1080/13869790802638667
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Thomas Scanlon (1998). What We Owe to Each Other. Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

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