Motivational internalism: A somewhat less idealized account

Philosophical Quarterly 50 (199):233-241 (2000)
Contemporary internalists postulate a defeasible yet necessary connection between values and motives. Typically they idealize the conditions for motivation, claiming for example that motivation must be present in rational persons under certain conditions. Robert Johnson convincingly argues that these versions of internalism have trouble avoiding the "conditional fallacy". They overlook ways in which the conditions in the antecedent of the conditional expressing the analysis are incompatible with the claim under analysis. Moreover, avoiding the fallacy decouples internalism from its use to explain and justify moral action. This paper uses Johnson's arguments to motivate a new proposal for defining central internalist claims. The proposal involves modifying the conditions in which motivation must be manifest so that it is less idealized. We can specify conditions which are ideal enough to ensure motivation but which are not so ideal as to be incompatible with the grounds of an agent's reasons.
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