“Defending reason-motivation internalism” by Melvin Ng (18 Mar)

One version of reason-motivation internalism states that if a consideration is a reason for me to Φ, then I must be motivated to Φ, if I were rational.  Julia Markovits challenges reason-motivation internalism with various counter-examples. One class of counter-examples involves things that you purportedly have reason to do, but that you would never be motivated to do, if and because you were rational. My first aim is to refute this class of counter-examples.

My second aim is to explain my motivation for doing so. Markovits makes a distinction between internalism and the thesis that there is a necessary relation between an agentʼs having a reason and some psychological, usually motivational, fact about the agent (what I shall call the Humean Theory of Reason, or HTR). Markovits rejects internalism but endorses HTR. Coming from the position of a moral error-theorist, I shall explain why I would not accept Markovitsʼ uncommon position, and in doing so, explain my motivation for defending internalism.

Graduate Seminar Series.
Date: Tuesday, 18 Mar 2014
Time: 2 pm – 3 pm
Venue: Philosophy Resource Room (AS3 #05-23)
Speaker: Melvin Ng
Moderator: Feng Lin

About the Speaker:

melvin_ngNg Han Wei Melvin is a part-time M.A. student, whose main interest is in metaethics. He is a moral error theorist. In other words, he believes there are no objective moral facts, and people are by-and-large mistaken about morality. Chat with him to find out how he thinks he can still discuss moral issues if he does not believe there are objectively true answers to moral questions. Alternatively chat with him on any topics in philosophy. He also teaches philosophy to young teenagers in a local secondary school, and is interested in both the philosophy of pedagogy and pedagogy of philosophy.

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