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Moral Judgment Purposivism: Saving Internalism from Amoralism

M. S. Bedke
Philosophical Studies: An International Journal for Philosophy in the Analytic Tradition
Vol. 144, No. 2 (May, 2009), pp. 189-209
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27734440
Page Count: 21
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Moral Judgment Purposivism: Saving Internalism from Amoralism
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Abstract

Consider orthodox motivational judgment internalism: necessarily, A's sincere moral judgment that he or she ought to φ motivates A to φ. Such principles fail because they cannot accommodate the amoralist, or one who renders moral judgments without any corresponding motivation. The orthodox alternative, externalism, posits only contingent relations between moral judgment and motivation. In response I first revive conceptual internalism by offering some modifications on the amoralist case to show that certain community-wide motivational failures are not conceptually possible. Second, I introduce a theory of moral motivation that supplements the intuitive responses to different amoralist cases. According to moral judgment purposivism (MJP), in rough approximation, a purpose of moral judgments is to motivate corresponding behaviors such that a mental state without this purpose is not a moral judgment. MJP is consistent with conceptual desiderata, provides an illuminating analysis of amoralist cases, and offers a step forward in the internalist-externalist debates.

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