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Motivational internalism and folk intuitions

Björnsson, Gunnar; Eriksson, John; Strandberg, Caj LU ; Francén Olinder, Ragnar and Björklund, Fredrik LU (2015) In Philosophical Psychology 28(5). p.715-734
Abstract
Motivational internalism postulates a necessary connection between moral judgments and motivation. In arguing for and against internalism, metaethicists traditionally appeal to intuitions about cases, but crucial cases often yield conflicting intuitions. One

way to try to make progress, possibly uncovering theoretical bias and revealing whether people have conceptions of moral judgments required for noncognitivist accounts of moral disagreement, is to investigate non-philosophers’ willingness to attribute moral judgments. A pioneering study by Shaun Nichols seemed to undermine internalism, as a

large majority of subjects were willing to attribute moral understanding to an agent lacking moral motivation. However, our... (More)
Motivational internalism postulates a necessary connection between moral judgments and motivation. In arguing for and against internalism, metaethicists traditionally appeal to intuitions about cases, but crucial cases often yield conflicting intuitions. One

way to try to make progress, possibly uncovering theoretical bias and revealing whether people have conceptions of moral judgments required for noncognitivist accounts of moral disagreement, is to investigate non-philosophers’ willingness to attribute moral judgments. A pioneering study by Shaun Nichols seemed to undermine internalism, as a

large majority of subjects were willing to attribute moral understanding to an agent lacking moral motivation. However, our attempts to replicate this study yielded quite different results, and we identified a number of problems with Nichols’ experimental

paradigm. The results from a series of surveys designed to rule out these problems (a) show that people are more willing to attribute moral understanding than moral belief to agents lacking moral motivation, (b) suggest that a majority of subjects operate

with some internalist conceptions of moral belief, and (c) are compatible with the hypothesis that an overwhelming majority of subjects do this. The results also seem to suggest that if metaethicists’ intuitions are theoretically biased, this bias is more

prominent among externalists. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
understanding, belief, motivation, motivational internalism, moral judgment, folk intuitions, Nichols
in
Philosophical Psychology
volume
28
issue
5
pages
715 - 734
publisher
Taylor & Francis
external identifiers
  • wos:000352914900005
  • scopus:84927909544
ISSN
1465-394X
DOI
10.1080/09515089.2014.894431
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
3724077f-3a30-4864-bb3d-76c3f5faab64 (old id 4255763)
date added to LUP
2014-01-28 13:51:00
date last changed
2017-07-30 03:29:59
@article{3724077f-3a30-4864-bb3d-76c3f5faab64,
  abstract     = {Motivational internalism postulates a necessary connection between moral judgments and motivation. In arguing for and against internalism, metaethicists traditionally appeal to intuitions about cases, but crucial cases often yield conflicting intuitions. One<br/><br>
way to try to make progress, possibly uncovering theoretical bias and revealing whether people have conceptions of moral judgments required for noncognitivist accounts of moral disagreement, is to investigate non-philosophers’ willingness to attribute moral judgments. A pioneering study by Shaun Nichols seemed to undermine internalism, as a<br/><br>
large majority of subjects were willing to attribute moral understanding to an agent lacking moral motivation. However, our attempts to replicate this study yielded quite different results, and we identified a number of problems with Nichols’ experimental<br/><br>
paradigm. The results from a series of surveys designed to rule out these problems (a) show that people are more willing to attribute moral understanding than moral belief to agents lacking moral motivation, (b) suggest that a majority of subjects operate<br/><br>
with some internalist conceptions of moral belief, and (c) are compatible with the hypothesis that an overwhelming majority of subjects do this. The results also seem to suggest that if metaethicists’ intuitions are theoretically biased, this bias is more<br/><br>
prominent among externalists.},
  author       = {Björnsson, Gunnar and Eriksson, John and Strandberg, Caj and Francén Olinder, Ragnar and Björklund, Fredrik},
  issn         = {1465-394X},
  keyword      = {understanding,belief,motivation,motivational internalism,moral judgment,folk intuitions,Nichols},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {5},
  pages        = {715--734},
  publisher    = {Taylor & Francis},
  series       = {Philosophical Psychology},
  title        = {Motivational internalism and folk intuitions},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09515089.2014.894431},
  volume       = {28},
  year         = {2015},
}