What's wrong with moral internalism

Ratio 11 (1):14–36 (1998)

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Abstract
Moral Internalism is the claim that it is a priori that moral beliefs are reasons for action. At least three conceptions of 'reason' may be disambiguated: psychological, epistemological, and purely ethical. The first two conceptions of Internalism are false on conceptual, and indeed empirical, grounds. On a purely ethical conception of 'reasons', the claim is true but is an Externalist claim. Positive arguments for Internalism — from phenomenology, connection and oddness — are found wanting. Three possible responses to the stock Externalist objections are uncovered and overturned. In so doing a close relation between Internalism and Behaviourism is revealed, and some stock anti-behaviouristic arguments are co-opted for Externalism. The likely dependence of Internalism on an Atomistic Associationism is uncovered and criticised. Internalism is seen as being ultimately a type of Ethical Determinism. Finally, a sketch of an Anti-Associative Externalism is given whereby the notion of self determination of action is put forward as an account of moral motivation fit to resist both the internalist and the belief-desire psychology premises of the stock non-cognitivist argument.
Keywords Moral Internalism  Moral Externalism  Self Determinism  Anti Associationism  Ethical Determinism  Reasons for Action
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DOI 10.1111/1467-9329.00049
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References found in this work BETA

Moral Reality and the End of Desire.Mark de Bretton Platts - 1980 - In Mark Platts (ed.), Reference, Truth, and Reality. Routledge and Kegan Paul.

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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.
Internalizm i eksternalizm w metaetyce.Tomasz Żuradzki - 2012 - Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego.
Problems for Virtue Theories in Epistemology.Robert Lockie - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 138 (2):169 - 191.
Does Particularism Solve the Moral Problem?1.Kasper Lippert–Rasmussen - 2002 - Philosophical Explorations 5 (2):125-140.

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