Southern Journal of Philosophy 51 (2):179-205 (2013)

Robert A. Mabrito
North Carolina State University
An important debate in moral philosophy concerns the thesis of internalism, of which the characteristic idea is that there is a conceptual link between moral judgment and motivation. According to the internalist, to judge that something is right is to be motivated to do it (at least under certain conditions). Externalists are those who deny the truth of internalism. There are two ways that either party to this debate may argue for their preferred position. The indirect approach requires defending an account of moral judgment and showing (for internalists) that it entails there is a conceptual link between moral judgment and motivation or (for externalists) that it entails there is no such link. In contrast, the direct approach requires arguing in favor of one position without assuming any particular account of moral judgment. In this paper, I examine two attempts—one by Michael Smith and one by Sigrún Svavarsdóttir—to resolve this debate between internalists and externalists by using the direct approach. Smith attempts to do so in favor of internalism while Svavarsdóttir makes the attempt in favor of externalism. I conclude that both attempts fail
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DOI 10.1111/sjp.12013
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References found in this work BETA

Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person.Harry Frankfurt - 1971 - Journal of Philosophy 68 (1):5-20.
Desiring the Bad: An Essay in Moral Psychology.Michael Stocker - 1979 - Journal of Philosophy 76 (12):738-753.

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