The possibility of amoralism: A defence against internalism

Philosophy 78 (1):63-78 (2003)

Authors
Brook Sadler
University of South Florida
Abstract
A defence of the possibility of amoralism is important to discussions about the foundations of ethics and the justification of morality. I argue against Michael Smith's attempt to show, through a defence of internalism, that amoralism is incoherent. I argue first, that a de dicto reading of the externalist's explanation of changes in motivation which are pursuant upon changes in judgement is not objectionable or implausible as Smith contends; and second, that internalism cannot account for the effort of the will required to make such changes in motivation. I also argue that the internalism/externalism debate can be diffused by considering the epistemic difficulties associated with identifying motivating states and by rejecting the notion that motivation can be understood in terms of psychlogical states.
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DOI 10.1017/S0031819103000044
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