Moral judgment purposivism: saving internalism from amoralism

Philosophical Studies 144 (2):189-209 (2009)

Matthew Bedke
University of British Columbia
Consider orthodox motivational judgment internalism: necessarily, A’s sincere moral judgment that he or she ought to φ motivates A to φ. Such principles fail because they cannot accommodate the amoralist, or one who renders moral judgments without any corresponding motivation. The orthodox alternative, externalism, posits only contingent relations between moral judgment and motivation. In response I first revive conceptual internalism by offering some modifications on the amoralist case to show that certain community-wide motivational failures are not conceptually possible. Second, I introduce a theory of moral motivation that supplements the intuitive responses to different amoralist cases. According to moral judgment purposivism (MJP), in rough approximation, a purpose of moral judgments is to motivate corresponding behaviors such that a mental state without this purpose is not a moral judgment. MJP is consistent with conceptual desiderata, provides an illuminating analysis of amoralist cases, and offers a step forward in the internalist-externalist debates.
Keywords Internalism  Externalism  Evolutionary ethics  Amoralism  Cognitivism  Expressivism  Noncognitivism  Proper function
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11098-008-9205-5
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 39,024
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Moral Realism: A Defence.Russ Shafer-Landau - 2003 - Oxford University Press.

View all 29 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The Pragmatics of Moral Motivation.Caj Strandberg - 2011 - The Journal of Ethics 15 (4):341-369.
Moral Motivation Pluralism.Ragnar Francén - 2010 - The Journal of Ethics 14 (2):117-148.

View all 9 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Judgment Internalism: An Argument From Self-Knowledge.Jussi Suikkanen - 2018 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 21 (3):489-503.
Ethical Internalism and Moral Indifference.Sharon E. Sytsma - 1995 - Journal of Value Inquiry 29 (2):193-201.
Internalizm motywacyjny Richarda M. Hare'a.Krzysztof Saja - 2007 - Analiza I Egzystencja 5:179-202.
Internalism, Emotionism, and the Psychopathy Challenge.Lei Zhong - 2013 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 20 (4):329-337.
Kantian Morals and Humean Motives.Philip Clark - 2004 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 68 (1):109–126.


Added to PP index

Total views
287 ( #17,404 of 2,319,708 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
8 ( #152,848 of 2,319,708 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature