The Journal of Ethics 2 (2):103-122 (1998)

Patricia S. Greenspan
University of Maryland, College Park
The paper outlines a view called social (or two-level) response-dependency as an addition to standard alternatives in metaethics that allows for a position intermediate between standard versions of internalism and externalism on the question of motivational force. Instead of taking psychological responses as either directly supplying the content of ethics (as on emotivist or sentimentalist accounts) or as irrelevant to its content (as in classical versions of Kantian or utilitarian ethics), the view allows them an indirect role, as motivational props to moral teaching and thus to the general institution of moral discourse. However, they are not implied by any particular moral judgment (or speaker), so that amoralism comes out as possible. The response that defines the distinctively moral notion of wrong on this account is the second-level (social) response of forbidding some behavior; but this is ultimately to be understood in terms of (variable) individual reactions. Natural human emotion tendencies thereby constrain the content of ethics, while allowing for some degree of social variation in moral codes.
Keywords emotion(s)  ethics  externalism  internalism  metaethics  moral psychology  motivation  relativism  social norms
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Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1023/A:1009727009963
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De Dicto Internalist Cognitivism.Jon Tresan - 2006 - Noûs 40 (1):143–165.
The Pragmatics of Moral Motivation.Caj Strandberg - 2011 - The Journal of Ethics 15 (4):341-369.
The Challenge of Communal Internalism.Jon Tresan - 2009 - Journal of Value Inquiry 43 (2):179-199.
Practical Reasons and Moral 'Ought'.Patricia Greenspan - 2007 - In Russell Schafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics, vol. II. Clarendon Press. pp. 172-194.

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