An Internalist Dilemma—and an Externalist Solution

Journal of Moral Philosophy 10 (1):25-51 (2013)
Abstract
In this paper, I argue that internalism about moral judgments and motivation faces a dilemma. On the one hand, a strong version of internalism is able to explain our conception of the connection between moral language and motivation, but fails to account for the notion that people who suffer from certain mental conditions need not be accordingly motivated. On the other hand, a weaker form of internalism avoids this difficulty, but fails to explain the mentioned conception concerning moral language and motivation. Moreover, I argue that externalism in conjunction with a pragmatic claim which employs Grice’s concept of generalized conversational implicature is able to account for both these conceptions and that it consequently avoids the internalist dilemma. Thus, there is reason to think that this view is preferable to internalism.
Keywords moral internalism  moral externalism  moral rationalism  moral rationality  normativity  generalized conversational implicature
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