Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (1):1 - 14 (2013)
AbstractStandard motivational internalism is the claim that by a priori or conceptual necessity, a psychological state is a moral opinion only if it is suitably related to moral motivation. Many philosophers, the authors of this paper included, have assumed that this claim is supported by intuitions to the effect that amoralists?people not suitably related to such motivation?lack moral opinions proper. In this paper we argue that this assumption is mistaken, seeming plausible only because defenders of standard internalism have failed to consider the possibility that our own actual moral practice as a whole is one where moral opinions fail to motivate in the relevant way. To show this, we present a cynical hypothesis according to which the tendency for people to act in accordance with their moral opinions ultimately stems from a desire to appear moral. This hypothesis is most likely false, but we argue, on both intuitive and methodological grounds, that it is conceptually possible that it correctly describes our actual moral opinions. If correct, this refutes standard motivational internalism. Further, we propose an explanation of why many have seemingly internalist intuitions. Such intuitions, we argue, stem from the fact that standard amoralist cases allow (or even suggest) that we apprehend the putative moral opinions of amoralists as radically different from how we understand actual paradigmatic moral opinions. Given this, it is reasonable to understand them as not being moral opinions proper. However, since these intuitions rest on substantial a posteriori assumptions about actual moral opinions, they provide no substantial a priori constraints on theories of moral judgment
Added to PP
Historical graph of downloads
References found in this work
Naming and Necessity: Lectures Given to the Princeton University Philosophy Colloquium.Saul A. Kripke - 1980 - Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
From Metaphysics to Ethics: A Defence of Conceptual Analysis.Frank Jackson - 1998 - Oxford University Press.
Wise Choices, Apt Feelings: A Theory of Normative Judgment.Allan Gibbard - 1990 - Harvard University Press.
Citations of this work
Phenomenal Intentionality and the Problem of Representation.Walter Ott - 2016 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 2 (1):131--145.
Motivational Internalism and Folk Intuitions.Gunnar Björnsson, John Eriksson, Caj Strandberg, Ragnar Francén Olinder & Fredrik Björklund - 2015 - Philosophical Psychology 28 (5):715-734.
A Counterexample to Parfit's Rule Consequentialism.Jacob Nebel - 2012 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 6 (2):1-10.
Motivating Emotions: Emotionism and the Internalist Connection.Justin J. Bartlett - 2022 - Axiomathes 32 (4):711-731.
Similar books and articles
Intuition and Belief in Moral Motivation.Antti Kauppinen - 2015 - In Gunnar Björnsson (ed.), Moral Internalism. Oxford University Press.
Moral Internalism: An Essay in Moral Psychology.Gunnar Björnsson - 1998 - Dissertation, Stockholm University
Is Moral Internalism Supported by Folk Intuitions?Caj Strandberg & Fredrik Björklund - 2013 - Philosophical Psychology 26 (3):319-335.
How Emotivism Survives Immoralists, Irrationality, and Depression.Gunnar Björnsson - 2002 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 40 (3):327-344.
Alternative Motivation: A New Challenge to Moral Judgment Internalism.Andrew Sneddon - 2009 - Philosophical Explorations 12 (1):41 – 53.
Why Health is Not Special: Errors in Evolved Bioethics Intuitions.Robin Hanson - 2002 - Social Philosophy and Policy 19 (2):153-179.
Metaethical Relativism: Against the Single Analysis Assumption.Ragnar Francén - 2007 - Dissertation, University of Gothenburg
Internalism and the Part-Time Moralist: An Essay About the Objectivity of Moral Judgments.M. Bagaric - 2002 - Consciousness and Emotion 2 (2):255-271.
Review of David Sobel and Steven Wall, Reasons for Action. [REVIEW]Bart Streumer - 2011 - Analysis 71 (1):200-202.
Humean and Anti-Humean Internalism About Moral Judgements.Mark Van Roojen - 2002 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 65 (1):26-49.