Famine, Affluence, and Amorality

European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 17 (2):(A1)5-29 (2021)
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Abstract

I argue that the debate concerning the nature of first-person moral judgment, namely, whether such moral judgments are inherently motivating or whether moral judgments can be made in the absence of motivation, may be founded on a faulty assumption: that moral judgments form a distinct kind that must have some shared, essential features in regards to motivation to act. I argue that there is little reason to suppose that first-person moral judgments form a homogenous class in this respect by considering an ordinary case: student readers of Peter Singer’s “Famine, Affluence, and Morality”. Neither internalists nor externalists can provide a satisfying account as to why our students fail to act in this particular case, but are motivated to act by their moral judgments in most cases. I argue that the inability to provide a satisfying account is rooted in this shared assumption about the nature of moral judgments. Once we consider rejecting the notion that first-person moral decision- making forms a distinct kind in the way it is typically assumed, the internalist/externalist debate may be rendered moot.

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Author's Profile

David Sackris
Arapahoe Community College

References found in this work

The moral problem.Michael Smith - 1994 - Cambridge, Mass., USA: Blackwell.
Famine, Affluence, and Morality.Peter Singer - 1972 - Oxford University Press USA.
Naming and Necessity.Saul Kripke - 1980 - Philosophy 56 (217):431-433.
Famine, affluence, and morality.Peter Singer - 1972 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 1 (3):229-243.

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