Internalism and Pessimism

In: Journal of Moral Philosophy
View More View Less
  • 1 St Hilda’s College, Oxford casey.doyle@st-hildas.ox.ac.uk

Motivational Internalism is the thesis that, necessarily, moral beliefs are accompanied by motivational states. While another's testimony might transmit knowledge and justification, it cannot warrant motivational states such as moral emotions. Thus, Internalism provides a compelling explanation of “Pessimism,” the view that there is something illicit about forming moral beliefs by testimony. This paper presents a nonconstitutive reading of the Internalist thesis and then argues that it supports Pessimism in the form of a defeasible presumption against moral deference. It also argues against views which explain Pessimism by appeal to requirements on moral belief formation.

  • Adler J. (2012) Epistemological problems of testimony. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2017 Edition), Zalta E.N. (ed.), forthcoming url = <https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/win2017/entries/testimony-episprob/>.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bar-On D. (2004) Speaking my mind. Oxford: oup.

  • Bjorklund F. , Bjornsson G. , Erikson J. , Olinder R. , and Strandberg C. (2012) Recent work on motivational internalism. Analysis. 72: 124137.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Dancy J. (1993) Moral reasons. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.

  • Doyle, C. (2019) Deferring to others about one’s own mind. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly. doi: 10.1111/papq.12268.10.1111/papq.12268

  • Drier J. (1990) Internalism and speaker relativism. Ethics. 101: 626.

  • Driver J. (2006) Autonomy and the asymmetry problem for moral expertise. Philosophical Studies. 128(3): 619644.

  • Fletcher G. (2016) Moral testimony: once more with feeling. Oxford Studies in Meta-Ethics. 11. doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198784647.003.0003.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Freud S. (1966) Introductory lectures on psycho-analysis . New York: W.W. Norton & Co.

  • Ginsborg H. (2015) The normativity of nature. Oxford: oup.

  • Groll D. and Decker J. (2014) Moral testimony: one of these things is just like the others. Analytic Philosophy. 55(1): 5474.

  • Hills A. (2009) Moral testimony and moral epistemology. Ethics. 120(1): 94127.

  • Hills A. (2013) Moral testimony. Philosophy Compass. 8(6): 552559.

  • Hopkins R. (2007) What is wrong with moral testimony? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. 74, 611634.

  • Hopkins R. (2011) How to be a pessimist about aesthetic testimony. Journal of Philosophy. 108(3): 138157.

  • Howell R. (2014) Google morals, virtue, and the asymmetry of deference. Nous 48(3): 389415.

  • Little M. (1997) Virtue as knowledge: objections from the philosophy of mind. Noûs. 31: 5979.

  • McDowell J. (1978) Are moral requirements hypothetical imperatives? Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society. 52: 1342.

  • McDowell J. (1979) “Virtue and Reason”, Monist. 62: 33150.

  • McGrath Sarah (2009) The puzzle of pure moral deference. Philosophical Perspectives. 23(1): 321344.

  • McNaughton D. (1988) Moral vision. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.

  • Mogensen A. (2015) Moral testimony pessimism and the uncertain value of authenticity. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research . Online first doi: 10.1111/phpr.12255.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Moran R. (2001) Authority and estrangement . Princeton, nj: Princeton University Press.

  • Nagel T. (1970) The possibility of altruism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Nickel Philip (2001) Moral testimony and its authority. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice. 4(3): 253266.

  • Peacocke C. 1998. Conscious attitudes, attention and self-knowledge. in Wright C. , Smith B. and Macdonald C. (eds.) Knowing our own minds. Oxford: oup.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Platts M. (1980) Moral reality and the end of desire. in Platts M. (ed.) Reference, Truth, and Reality. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Radcliffe E. (2006) Moral internalism and moral cognitivism in Hume’s metaethics. Synthese. 154: 35370.

  • Ryle G. (2009) On forgetting the distinction between right and wrong. In his Collected Papers. London: Routledge.

  • Scruton R. (1976) Art and imagination: A study in the philosophy of mind. London: Methuen.

  • Shafer-Landau R. (2003) Moral realism: a defence. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

  • Sliwa P. (2012) In defense of moral testimony. Philosophical Studies. 158(2): 175195.

  • Smith M. (1994) The moral problem. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.

  • Steglich-Peterson A. (2009) Weighing the aim of belief. Philosophical Studies 145: 395405.

  • Tresan J. (2006) De dicto internalist cognitivism. Noûs, 40: 143165.

  • Whiting D. (2015) The glass is half empty: a new argument for pessimism about aesthetic testimony. British Journal of Aesthetics. 55(1): 91107.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wolff R.P. (1998 [1970]) In defense of anarchism. Berkeley, ca: University of California Press.

  • Wollheim R. (1980) Art and its objects (2nd ed.) New York: Cambridge University Press.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 159 111 4
Full Text Views 25 14 2
PDF Downloads 12 6 1