Moral judgment purposivism: saving internalism from amoralism

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

Authors
Matthew Bedke
University of British Columbia
Abstract
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
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-008-9205-5
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References found in this work BETA

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

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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.

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