more from Jonathan Dancy

Single Idea 7261

[catalogued under 22. Metaethics / A. Ethics Foundations / 2. Source of Ethics / c. Ethical intuitionism]

Full Idea

There is an internalist view of intuitionism, saying that to accept that one's action is wrong is itself to be motivated not to do it. Externalists (like Ross) say that moral judgements need the help of an independent desire to motivate us.

Gist of Idea

Internalists say that moral intuitions are motivating; externalist say a desire is also needed


Jonathan Dancy (Intuitionism [1991])

Book Reference

'A Companion to Ethics', ed/tr. Singer,Peter [Blackwell 1993], p.415

A Reaction

The internalists would be closer to Kant or Plato (for whom reason or pure ideas motivate), while externalist would favour Hume's belief/desire account of human actions. I like Kant and Plato, but Hume is more plausible. Dancy disagrees (Idea 7262).

Related Idea

Idea 7262 Obviously judging an action as wrong gives us a reason not to do it [Dancy,J]