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Title: Making moral judgements : internalism and moral motivation
Author: Millar, Matthew James Denver
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2006
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Making Moral Judgements addresses an apparent tension between the internalist view that there is a necessary connection between moral judgements and motivation and the cognitivist view that such judgements express beliefs about how the world is morally. This thesis argues that to resolve this tension we need first to distinguish the act of making a moral judgement from the content of a moral judgement. Act internalism asserts a necessary connection between the act of making a moral judgement and motivation. This is perfectly consistent with there being no connection between the truth of moral propositions - the content of moral judgements - and motivation. The act internalist approach is developed using speech act theory. Speech acts that do more than simply state facts or express motivating states are ubiquitous in our linguistic practice. Moral judgements can be construed as a type of compound speech act that involves assertion and motivation. This approach, it is argued, can help us better understand the complexities of moral motivation and of moral practice. On the speech act approach, an agent in making a moral judgement goes beyond description or cognition in holding herself and others to account with regard to a moral requirement. To be able to do this, the agent must be generally susceptible to a range of reactive attitudes that make up the point of view of normative participation. It is in relation to this participant point of view that we can account for the capacity of agents to be motivated by moral considerations. And it is with regard to this point of view that internalism is best understood as an expression of our interested or participatory relation to moral deliberation and moral practice.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available