Dispositional Moral Properties and Moral Motivation

Theoria 65 (2):171–192 (1999)
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Inspired by an analogy between moral and secondary properties, some moral philosophers have argued that moral properties are dispositions. According to one version of this view, most clearly represented by Jonathan Dancy, a moral property is the property of being such, having base properties such, that an entity with the property elicits morally merited and motivating responses. Its proponents have argued that this notion can explain how moral judgements can be objective in the sense of expressing properties that are independent of will and yet imply motivation by those who assert them. In special consideration of Dancy’s Moral Reasons, I argue that the dispositional account does not save the idea of objectivity in the required sense and implies an untenable view of moral motivation. I therefore conclude that the dispositional account fails to explain the two features of moral judgements.



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Caj Strandberg
University of Oslo

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Pure Cognitivism and Beyond.Attila Tanyi - 2014 - Acta Analytica 29 (3):331-348.

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References found in this work

The Sources of Normativity.Christine M. Korsgaard - 1996 - Cambridge University Press.
Moral Reasons.Jonathan Dancy - 1993 - Blackwell.
Essays in Quasi-Realism.Simon Blackburn - 1993 - Oxford University Press.
Values and Secondary Qualities.John McDowell - 1985 - In Ted Honderich (ed.), Morality and Objectivity. London: Routledge. pp. 110-129.

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