Philosophical Studies 172 (9):2445-2467 (2015)

Much in contemporary metaethics revolves around the two positions known as ‘motivational internalism’ and the ‘Humean theory of motivation’. The importance of these positions is mostly due to their role in what is considered to be the most powerful argument for metaethical non-cognitivism: the so-called ‘motivation argument’. In my paper, I want to argue that widely accepted renditions of the MA, such as the rendition recently forwarded by Russ Shafer-Landau, are flawed in two senses. First, they fail to sufficiently distinguish between conceptual claims and empirical psychological claims, thereby somewhat obscuring the status of the argument and its conclusion. Secondly, they start from definitions of motivational internalism that are, in crucial respects, too strong. Motivational internalism is usually formulated as the claim that moral judgements necessarily motivate; as I want to argue, however, the claim that moral judgements potentially motivate is all the motivational internalism a noncognitivist defender of the MA is ever going to need
Keywords Metaethics  Moral judgement  Moral motivation  Internalism  Externalism  Hume
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11098-014-0420-y
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,355
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Moral Realism: A Defence.Russ Shafer-Landau - 2003 - Oxford University Press.
Moral Reasons.Jonathan Dancy - 1993 - Blackwell.

View all 34 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Moral Motivation in Early 18th Century Moral Rationalism.Daniel Eggers - 2019 - European Journal of Philosophy 27 (3):552-574.
A New Indifference Argument Against Motivational Internalism.Zhang Wan - 2017 - 4th BEIJING ANALYTIC PHILOSOPHY CONFERENCE.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

An Argument Against Motivational Internalism.Elinor Mason - 2008 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 108 (1pt2):135-156.
The Indifference Argument.Nick Zangwill - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 138 (1):91 - 124.
Internalizm motywacyjny Richarda M. Hare'a.Krzysztof Saja - 2007 - Analiza I Egzystencja 5:179-202.
Aristotelian Motivational Externalism.Kristján Kristjánsson - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 164 (2):419-442.
Externalist Moral Motivation.Nick Zangwill - 2003 - American Philosophical Quarterly 40 (2):143-154.
Intuition and Belief in Moral Motivation.Antti Kauppinen - 2015 - In Gunnar Björnsson (ed.), Moral Internalism. Oxford University Press.


Added to PP index

Total views
96 ( #123,251 of 2,519,622 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #271,073 of 2,519,622 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes