By Charles R. Pigden (eds.)
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Extra info for Hume on Motivation and Virtue
To desire a state of affairs X is to be defeasibly disposed to desire Y given the belief that Y leads to X, to desire Z given the belief that Z leads to Y and to be averse to W given the belief that W would hinder or prevent X. (The qualification “defeasibly” is necessary since I may have other desires which are incompatible with the desire for the means to something that I genuinely desire. ) To believe that Z leads to Y is to be in a complex dispositional state, grounding a related range of counterfactuals such as a disposition to desire Z given a desire for Y and to be averse to Z given an aversion to Y.
Let us examine both these implications in turn. Does expressivism imply simple motivation internalism? No, it does not. Expressivism, as I have stated it, is a thesis about what kind of mental states are expressed by moral judgements. It is vital to note that the notion of expression that is relevant here is non-causal. One can express a mental state while not having that state, and perhaps having never had that state. Consider a promise, which is a kind of speech act by which we express intentions or commitments.
Premise 2: Sincere moral judgements have quality Q (vis-à-vis the mental state expressed). Therefore: If S sincerely judges that she is morally required to , then her judgement has quality Q vis-à-vis C (regarding her ing). I call the conclusion ‘motivation-internalism-ish’ on the grounds that it asserts a relation between moral judgement and a kind of motivational state (C). ) But in fact this conclusion is derived trivially, and has no useful role to play in the metaethical dialectic.
Hume on Motivation and Virtue by Charles R. Pigden (eds.)