Metaethical internalism: Another neglected distinction [Book Review]
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Ethics 13 (1):51 - 72 (2009)
‘Internalism’ is used in metaethics for a cluster of claims which bear a family resemblance. They tend to link, in some distinctive way—typically modal, mereological, or causal—different parts of the normative realm, or the normative and the psychological. The thesis of this paper is that much metaethical mischief has resulted from philosophers’ neglect of the distinction between two different features of such claims. The first is the modality of the entire claim. The second is the relation between the items specified in the claim. In part one I explain this distinction and the problems neglecting it may cause. In part two I show that it has been neglected, and has caused those problems, at least with respect to one version of internalism. That is judgment internalism, which claims that moral beliefs are necessarily related to pro- or con-attitudes; e.g., that if you believe you ought to x you must have some motivation to x. The considerations standardly adduced in favor of judgment internalism support only a version which lacks the metaethical implications typically attributed to it, at least so far as anyone has shown. Proponents and opponents of judgment internalism fail to realize this because of their neglect of the modality/relation distinction. I illustrate by considering discussions of judgment internalism by Russ Shafer-Landau, Simon Blackburn, James Dreier, David Brink, and others.
|Keywords||Simon Blackburn David Brink James Dreier Russ Shafer-Landau Expressivism Internalism Judgment internalism Moral judgment Moral motivation Noncognitivism|
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