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Durham e-Theses
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Externalism or Bust - Why Internalism is Incapable
of Producing Moral Reasons

STUART, RICHARD,ALISTAIR,ST,JOHN (2022) Externalism or Bust - Why Internalism is Incapable
of Producing Moral Reasons.
Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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Consider the following two commonly held views in Ethics. Firstly, that for something to be a reason for an agent to act it must be capable of motivating them (‘reasons internalism’). Secondly, that agents have reasons – most obviously moral reasons - to act in at least some ways whatever their motivations may be. These two views would at least appear to be in conflict with each other. Internalists however, maintain that they can be reconciled.
It is argued that, given the nature of moral reasons, no such reconciliation could succeed. The argument is based in part on exploring the different attempts at reconciliation offered by three contemporary philosophers within the internalist tradition – David Gauthier, Mark Schroeder & Christine Korsgaard – each of which is shown to fail. It is then argued that this failure at reconciliation is endemic to internalism; internalism necessarily involves imposing a flawed constraint on what normative reasons can exist, which in practice makes it incompatible with the existence of moral reasons.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Philosophy; Ethics; Moral Reasons; Externalism; Internalism.
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Philosophy, Department of
Thesis Date:2022
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:04 Jul 2022 14:26

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